It’s no longer news that young people within rural and urban communities are vulnerable to drugs, substance and alcohol abuse. This may be as a result of many factors such as orphan hood, peer pressure, poor parenting, the ease in accessing these substances and idleness. It is of course, very worrisome that people within this population also engage in intravenous drug use - an act which can, in some cases, lead to HIV. An increasing number of academic studies have shown that many mental health problems (depression in particular) emerge in late childhood and early adolescence and is the largest cause of the burden of disease among young people-DALYs). Equally shocking is the fact that suicide is the number one killer among teenagers worldwide and that poor mental health can impact greatly on the wider health and development of adolescents and has a key role in health ‘outcomes’ such as higher alcohol, tobacco and illicit substances use, adolescent pregnancy, school drop-out and delinquent behaviours. There is growing consensus that healthy development during childhood and adolescence contributes to good mental health and can eventually prevent mental health problems.
Gede is working as a pioneer agency in Ibadan, opening up important dialogues with partner agencies and young people themselves in terms of recognising the important of positive mental health .Watch this space for further news of our ground breaking work in Ibadan.