NGO launches online help desk for mental health care


AN NGO, Olamma Cares Foundation, says it has launched an online crisis help service to aid people struggling with psychological and mental health issues.

Its Executive Director, Ms. Chioma Nwosu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Lagos that the foundation had trained front liners serving as mental health first aiders for those who need help.

Nwosu, also a positive psychological advocate, said mental health agents help by listening to callers and offering therapy via phone calls, live chats, and an anonymous chat forum.

She added that the NGO had recorded 100 percent increase in the number of calls received since the COVID-19 pandemic, with anxiety topping the list of issues.

“Sometimes people reach out to us and just want to vent; that’s where the mental health first aider steps in.

“We calm the situation and prompts the person to speak, and guides the person through self-help strategies.

“However, some cases need to be escalated and are referred to our therapists that consist of a team of clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and life coaches,” she said.

Nwosu noted that for most cases that needed the specialists, chances were that they would need multiple therapy sessions.

She explained that the services provided by the first aiders were free but those who needed specialised care were charged a discounted fee by the consultants. Nwosu, however, cautioned people against neglecting their mental health.

She urged Nigerians to take advantage of the services offered by the mental health first aiders by contacting them through the live chat and telephone numbers on their website. “Mental health is as important as physical health.

“We know a lot of people cannot afford therapy; we have volunteer specialists and those are absolutely free,” she said. (NAN)

– Jun. 23, 2020 @ 17:19 GMT |

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