Helpful resources for #MentalHealthAwareness

Useful mental health resources

For many people all over the world, the past year has been extremely difficult. All around us, as the world shut down due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, social media showed us in real-time the frailty of life in different communities across the world, to the point it seemed that we were constantly in mourning. For anyone, this was incredibly difficult, let alone for those who already struggle with managing their mental health and wellbeing.

According to WHO, one in four Nigerians struggles with mental illness, and only 10% of these people have access to the care they need to manage their mental health. When you consider the country’s population of nearly 150 million people, these numbers are alarming. Living in a megacity such as Lagos, where the hustle and bustle never stops, there’s rarely ever any time to pause and reflect. Given this, it’s easy for things to pile up and then get ugly, leading to one’s mental health deteriorating at a rapid rate. As a society, we are generally more conscious of physical wellbeing, and take immediate action to get to the bottom of physical illness, when it’s just as important to be as conscious of your mental health.

Paying attention to one’s mental health is crucial to living a balanced life, as it impacts our ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks, and can cause us to function poorly in work, education and socially. At worst, ailing mentally can lead to suicide, which is now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds all over the world. As such, it’s important to raise as much awareness about the reality, as everybody in the world has to manage their mental health and wellbeing. This is why having open conversations about the way we treat this as a society and interrogate the unhelpful codes that have developed a stigma in the way one’s mental health is treated.

To this end, this week for Mental Health Awareness Week, we at the NATIVE are working to keep members of our community informed about any mental health resources and information one needs whether you’re struggling, or just fine. For the rest of the week, we’ll be stirring up the different conversations surrounding mental health, from exploring the therapeutic benefits of music to engaging in detailed conversations with Africans who live with different mental disorders and digging deep into the connections between one’s mental health and substance use.

Whether you’re neurodivergent and already undergoing treatment, or you noticing patterns in your behaviour that are worrisome or even if you just want to learn more about how to show up for the people around you who struggle with their mental health, we’ve put together a few resources which might come in handy.

Therapy in Nigeria

Making the decision to begin therapy is never an easy one. However, once the decision is made to begin therapy, it is a beneficial experience that helps and enriches the lives of both you and those around you. The first step is to reframe what therapy means to you and leave the stigma attached talking about your problems behind. A therapist is there to guide you to healthily combing through your trauma and discovering patterns and the sources of scars that need to be addressed. To get you started, we found a thread highlight the few therapists available in Nigeria and their price ranges.

Mental wellness pages

While not all of us may need therapy, it’s still important to stay in tune with one’s mental and psychological well-being. Health and wellness pages are a quick way of staying afloat with important information for navigation anxiety, panic attacks, living with a loved one dealing with mental disabilities, and even breathing exercises for refreshing one’s mind. There are many of these pages across social media but we particularly recommend Eudaimonia Wellness, Mind County, The Depression Chronicles,


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Foster community and connection

It’s easy to believe that you’re alone when you’re struggling, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Thankfully, the Internnet has made it such that space and time are not barriers for communication anymore, and your tribe is always somewhere online. If you struggle to open up to the people around you, it might be helpful to find a community who you know understands what you’re going through. There are innumerable ways that being helped and looked after, can help.


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State-funded resources

There’s no denying that Nigerian society hasn’t been the most empathetic and caring when dealing with people with mental health disabilities. In fact, there is a dearth of state-funded resources for people living with disabilities because these conditions are barely even recognised or taken seriously. However, it seems like things are improving in this area. Recently, the Lagos State government announced the new mental health helpline called ‘The Lagos Lifeline’. The platform will be available for residents of the city to gain quick access to psychosocial support, counselling, and psychotherapy services. The services will be free of charge through a dedicated line – 0909000MIND or 0909000646. While this is a step in the right direction, it is left to be seen how other states in the country will adopt similar practices for their residents.

Mental health websites

To adequately equip you with the tools to healthily address your triggers and anxieties, there are a number of mental health resources online which can adequately inform you about the different mental illnesses there are and how to seek out treatment for each of them. Most of these websites are not tailored specifically to Nigeria but they are full of useful information that might help you or someone close to you during difficult times.




Psychology Today

Psych Central

Featured image credits/VeryWellMind

ICYMI: Suicide prevention: our collective responsibility