Annually 10th of October, is observed as World Mental Health Day. This year was not an exception for the department of Neuropsychiatry, University of Port Harcourt Teaching hospital to roll out it’s flagship project to campaign for mental health. In making the day was a colourful sensitization rally from the hospital to the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), led by the acting head of the department ,Dr Adesokun Olufisayo
The campaign also involved the distribution of Mental Health information materials and sensitization talks and free psychological evaluation for interested members of the public.
The rally team,clad in colurful T Shirts and armed with informative materials on mental wellbeing visited the University of Port Harcourt’s “Abuja park” and “Delta park”, before settling at the Convocation Arena for a Mental Health Sensitization Talk.
In his opening comment the HOD,Dr Olufisayo, highlighted the relevance of the year’s theme: “Your Mental Health,Your Responsibility”. His advise to the general public was on the need to imbibe healthy disposition to life so as to enhance Mental Health. He suggested social interaction,healthy activities and recreation as key to maintaining good mental health.
Dr Douglas Okafor, The Vice President of the Rotary Club, GRA Branch, a co sponsor of the event, spoke on the importance of sound mental health to all present and the society at large. He recommended aggressive awareness campaign,and pledged further support from Rotary International to Neuropsychiatry Department to assist it’s Mental Awareness programs.
Further talks from a resource person and Assistant Governor of the Rotary Club, GRA Branch, Veronique Tabai advocated adequate sleep and abstinence from substance abuse as necessary for good Mental Health.
Other speakers spoke on the adverse effect of drug abuse and the negative consequences of stigmatization.
Participants, and the general public were asked to view victims of drug addiction as merely challenged,not “finished”; because there is always hope for rehabilitation.
The event also gave the public avenues to ask question and appropriate answer was given , including the call for persons challenged with mental health issues to approach the Neoropsychiatic center in UPTH for appropriate care.