ICN Boss Urges Individuals To Go For Regular Mental Health Check

The Provost of the Institute of Counselling in Nigeria (ICN), Dr. Tolulope Oko-Igaire has urged Nigerians to visit professional counsellors and psychotherapists regularly for a mental health check to ensure they are in the right frame of mind considering the increasing rate of suicide, depressions and other related issues in the country.

She made this known recently during an event tagged “Online marathon mental health Awareness Campaign” organised by ICN to commemorate this year’s World Mental Health Day with the theme “Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All a Global Priority”, marked every year on 10 October. The marathon conversation online was packaged with thought-provoking input and insights which enabled the institute to reach out to millions of people.

In line with the effort, a recent report revealed that 3 out of every 10 Nigerians have one form of mental illness or another. Also, World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that after nearly three years, the social isolation, fear of disease and death, and strained socio-economic circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to an estimated 25% global rise in depression and anxiety.

Also, it reported that around 11 people per 100,000 per year die by suicide in the African region, higher than the global average of nine per 100,000 people. It added that mental health problems account for up to 11 percent of the risk factors associated with suicide.

“As a matter of fact, individuals need to go for a regular mental health check with a counselor or therapist just as we do with our physical health. There is no need to wait for signs before this. However, when an individual finds it difficult to live life optimally, finding it hard to cope with life then there is a need to talk to a counselor. This differs from person to person.”

She added, “I believe that mental health should be given utmost priority. As a matter of fact, a health check should not be complete without the inclusion of mental health check. Well-being is the bedrock of a balanced functional life hence the need to make the importance of well-being known across the globe.

“Well-being covers the emotional, physical, social, and psychological areas of human existence. Innovation of Channels with which the need for well-being can reach the whole world should be the most important conversation right now.”

Oko-Igaire explained further that it is difficult to concentrate and give one’s best if the mind is not settled which might lead to low productivity. “To get the best out of a team, everyone must be in their best and balanced mental state. This is the only way maximum productive output is guaranteed,” she stated.

Commenting on the impact the institute is making in the field of counselling and psychotherapy in Africa, she said “The Institute is big on training, partnerships, and collaborations, that’s the key! We are intentional about producing professional and certified counselors across Africa. We also collaborate with the state and federal government as well as partnering with NGOs to ensure that the gap of ignorance is bridged and mental health can be accessible to all.”

She added, “It can be proudly said that Institute has been able to train over two thousand individuals and a wholesome number of corporate organisations.

“We are looking forward to reaching more people across Africa and the world at large through more local and international collaborations, partnerships, and making use of technology as a tool to reach more lives in the future.”


Tags : Dr. Tolulope Oko-IgaireICNInstitute of Counselling in Nigeria
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