WHO director, medical professionals to discuss mental health challenges on Nigerian youths

mental health

Executive director, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), World Health Organisation (WHO), Helga Fogstad among other medical and health professionals will discuss solutions around the increasing issues and challenges on the mental health of youths and young adults in Nigeria at the 3rd edition of the Olashore International School annual Mental Wellness Conference.

The theme of the virtual conference scheduled for Saturday, 10th October is “Mental Wellness: A Central Pillar of Adolescent Wellbeing”,

Olapeju Sofowora, chairperson, OISA Foundation, said the conference has the twin objectives of creating awareness amongst parents and caregivers of the mental pressures and challenges faced by their children in today’s society and providing practical guidelines to tackling these challenges have been achieved by the success of the two previous editions of the conference.

Sofowora while speaking about the conference observes that there remains a lot more to be done to help school administrators, parents, caregivers and children develop a better understanding of the mental issues that negatively influence young people and highlight the mental health services and treatment options that are available.

According to her, “This year’s conference will be hosted on the Zoom video conferencing platform and will focus mainly on the critical role that mental wellness plays on the wellbeing of adolescents; persons of ages 10 to 18.

The conference is planned to commemorate the World Mental Health Day, celebrated globally on October 10, this year’s edition of the conference, organised by the OISA Foundation will have the WHO Director Helga Fogstad delivering the keynote address.

Other speakers expected to give both Nigeria and global perspective to the challenges of Mental health at the conference include Oluwayemi Ogun, managing director, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba Lagos; Tolulope Bella-Awusah, Head of Department, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University College Hospital, Ibadan.

Others are Tobi Odunsi, Psychiatrist and founder, mental Status Quo and an old student of Olashore International School, Folashade Adefisayo, commissioner for education; Lagos State will be the special guest at the event.

The programme, she added, will among other focus areas, examine: A General Overview of Adolescent Mental Health Issues; Cultural issues in adolescent upbringing and real-world challenges of dealing with adolescents

The need for standardized protocols to identify, evaluate, manage and monitor adolescent mental health issues in secondary schools and Development of mental wellness protocols for schools to adopt and implement.

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