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MENTAL HEALTH IN NIGERIA: HAUWA OJEIFO'S 24/7 HELPLINE

Hauwa Ojeifo set up a mental health helpline for women in Nigeria after suffering from depression herself.

People seeking support can go to the She Writes Woman walk-in centre or call its 24/7 helpline.

HELPING NIGERIA TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH

Hauwa Ojeifo is tackling the stigma around mental health in Nigeria - a country where the national suicide rate is on the rise. Lucy Fielder reports.

#BellaNaijaWCW HAUWA OJEIFO IS PROVIDING LOVE, HOPE AND SUPPORT

Hauwa, a rape survivor, was diagnosed with bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychosis and suicidal idealisations in 2015, and she founded She Writes Woman as an outlet for herself.

PRINCE HARRY HAILS A NEW GENERATION OF  'INCREDIBLE' YOUNG LEADERS

Between them, they are fighting mental health stigma, tackling violence against women and quite literally saving lives around the Commonwealth.

IN NIGERIA, WHERE MENTAL HEALTH IS CONSIDERED A 'WESTERN' ISSUE, PEOPLE ARE TURNING TO ONE ANOTHER FOR HELP.

For Hauwa Ojeifo, a 25-year-old investment banker turned life coach and mental health advocate, none of her symptoms mimicked these stereotypes. Ojeifo, who lives in the capital city of Lagos, recalls having constant mood swings as a child.

NIGERIA'S HAUWA OJEIFO WINS FIRST EVER MTV GENERATION CHANGE AWARD

The mental health activist was awarded at the 2018 MTV EMAs pre-show held at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre, on Sunday in Bilbao, Spain. The newly introduced MTV EMA Generation Change Award was created to elevate and empower the fearless, original young people who are changing the world.
 

"MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE" - QUEEN ELIZABETH YOUNG LEADER

Hauwa Ojeifo's story is one of dogged determination to succeed against all odds. Mental illness of any kind, and the stigma that comes with it would be enouogh to make others fold and recoil into misery; but not Hauwa.

TACKLING NIGERIA'S HIGH SUICIDE RATE

At the celebration, few of the guests looking on would have known that the joyous 26-year-old was lucky to be there – that just two years ago in Nigeria, her world was falling apart and she had tried to end her own life.

“I had a mental breakdown,” she recalls. “It led to a near suicide attempt.” Ojeifo was later diagnosed with bipolar and mild psychosis, symptoms of which she had experienced for ten years. She would go through extreme highs followed by extreme lows.

THE GROUND-BREAKING AND PIONEERING WORK OF HAUWA OJEIFO

With an MSc in Investment Banking & Islamic Finance and a top industry job, Hauwa is not the kind of person people tend to picture when they think of someone with a mental health problem. 

 

She has founded She Writes Woman, a 24/7 helpline and walk-in centre in Nigeria.

FIGHTING MENTAL HEALTH WITH HAUWA OJEIFO

Nigerians are becoming more aware of mental illnesses and the effect on the human psyche. This awareness is no small feat, taking efforts from spectacular individuals like Hauwa Ojeifo.

HAUWA OJEIFO

©2020 HAUWA OJEIFO