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In Abuja NGO to begin mental health sensitisation in secondary schools

Zion, who spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that eight schools had been selected for the pilot phase of the project.

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Deteriorating mental health left unchecked can affect how we function in life. play

Deteriorating mental health left unchecked can affect how we function in life.

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Mr Ameh Zion, the President, Mandate Health Empowerment Initiative (MHEI) on Friday, said the organisation would begin sensitisation of secondary school pupils within the FCT on mental health by February, 2018.

Zion, who spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that eight schools had been selected for the pilot phase of the project.

He said that the project would be carried out in collaboration with the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), adding that the schools were approved by the Secondary School Education Board (SSEB).

According to him, the project will focus on awareness creation and sensitisation of students, parents and teachers about mental health and the need to give it as much importance as the physical health.

“We will start this project with eight schools within the AMAC Area Council.

“This project will go a long way to increase our level of outreach and also see that we make people more aware about their mental health.

“In 2017, we were able to sensitive and provide mental health intervention to over 2,800 people in various communities and our projection for 2018 is 10,000 within the FCT.

“We could have reached out to more persons but we faced the challenge of community entry in some areas.

“The differences in culture, region and ethnicity prevented us from reaching out to more communities as they had reservations about this.

“We have however adopted some communities who were willing to work with us as our point of outreach and we hope to continue to support them in 2018,” Zion said.

He said that the organisation faced a major challenge of funding and shortage of professional health workers including clinical psychologists and social workers calling for local and international support for the organisation in 2018.

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