- Access to internationally renowned Faculty members (including Professor Martin Prince and Dr Rosie Mayston from King’s College London, Dr C O Anazonwu, Professor Gloria Njoku, Professor Helen Osinowo, Professor Andrew Zamani from the Nigerian Psychological Association)
- In depth and personalised training
- Access to online materials and follow up support from Faculty
- A curriculum which will cover topics such as - how to generate research questions; operational research; how to read a research paper; interpreting evidence; proposal writing; research methodologies; quantitative and qualitative study design; longitudinal studies; research ethics; data analysis; dissemination for achieving impact
- A Certificate of Attendance
Today (September 25th) marks the ‘Light a Candle Day’ coordinated by our friends at the Network of People Living With HIV-AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) – a special day on which we all remember those who have lost their lives to HIV-AIDS. Gede also acknowledges the work we are doing with NEPWHAN which focuses on advocating for common mental disorders (anxiety, depression and substance (including alcohol) abuse) to be included in HIV-AIDS care and support regimes. As evidence shows, if care and support does not include these mental health conditions, then people living positively are being given health care which is nowhere near as effective as it should be. Please return to Gede’s webpage regularly to check on what we are doing to ensure that people living positively are able to access their right to appropriate health care – John Minto email@example.com
Binatu, a 20 year old lady, who has just finished her Senior Secondary School Examination,stays in Mpape (a suburb of Abuja, Nigeria) with her brothers. Her education seems to have come to a halt as her indigent parents, according to her, have no means of sending her to school for further education. As if this was not enough, the family’s poor socio-economic status makes it difficult to afford a decent meal. She came in contact when she was selected using the Gede Foundation guidelines for Skill Acquisition Programme for OVCs and enrolled.Gede Foundation and was selected for training in the skill acquisition empowerment program. She is presently undergoing training in one of the skill acquisition centres to become a computer operator. She is grateful that on the long run she would be useful both to herself and her family. For more information about the OVC programme, contact Mr Godwin Etim – firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tuesday July 8 2014, John Minto (Managing Director of Gede) and Marion Aslan (Founder of Elemental Wellbeing – www.elementalwellbeing.org) met in Doncaster, UK, to discuss the innovative way in which Elemental Wellbeing has addressed mental health awareness and training in The Gambia. As regular readers of Gede’s blogs will know, the Foundation is currently working on raising awareness of mental health issues across a wide range of organisations and, within this process, we are reaching out to others who have had significant success in other settings. John’s UK visit will also see him meet with a range of major mental health agencies and blogs will update readers on his meetings in due course. For more information contact John Minto email@example.com
My question to you, the reader, is how could this depression in HIV be handled without the mental health angle being considered? You would agree with me that HIV/AIDS and mental health are closely related and one would invariably affect the other. HIV/AIDS is a stigmatized illness and the news of one being infected with it tends to cause some form of serious mental health condition. In the case of the woman in this story, she should have been referred to a mental health specialist where she could benefit from psychotherapy or drugs like anti-depressants. This shows that HIV/AIDS treatment and care is holistic in nature. Our commitment to halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS as a nation would be more aptly supported if effort is put into promoting Mental Health Services Delivery. A national policy is on ground already and I only hope that the importance of it becoming an Act and subsequent Bill would follow suit. Stakeholders could take a cue and support the motion. Thank you for your attention and anticipated comments. I can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
For people reading this for the first time, it’s a story about a widowed mother of 4 who has been encouraged to go for HIV test following the mysterious death of her husband. She took to the advice of a relative and went for an HIV test at a nearby Pharmacy where she tested positive. She was referred to Gede for confirmatory test which also turned out positive. Despite every effort at psychosocial counselling and appeals from her children over the months, she did not recover from the news. It was as if the clock stopped ticking and time stood still! She slipped into depression and not even the thought of remaining strong and alive for her children (as the only living parent) could bring her out of it. Life seemed to have lost its meaning, she rarely ate and refused to take antiretroviral drugs (for which she was due). It wasn’t long before her immune system became compromised and she fell ill. She never recovered (perhaps the will to do so had long gone) and my enquiry to her oldest child after a while confirmed she had passed on. The question where lies the link comes up again and would be considered in the final part of this story but I can be reached on email@example.com
Solape is back again. This time around to share with you a case which I experienced about seven years ago as an HIV/AIDS Counsellor. Then, I thought it was just a case of psychosocial counselling (follow up counselling which would usually come after the disclosure of an HIV positive result) but my recent increase in knowledge in mental health is making me think deeper. In 2006, I met a woman, a fulltime housewife who had just lost her husband and was left with 4 children whose age ranged from 4 years to 16 years. The man had died after a protracted illness whose nature she was not really aware of. Upon his death, a relative (whom she was not sure if he knew the late husband’s status or not) advised her to go for an HIV test because of (according to him) ‘the way in which his kinsman (her husband) died was somehow suspicious’. The woman was disturbed by this observation, but what happened next was truly shocking. I will continue this terrible story in my next blog but I can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Solape Bamijoko, a Gede Foundation team member who has worked as an HIV/AIDS Counselor for the last seven years. Are HIV/AIDS and mental health related you would ask? When growing up in Nigeria, I often thought that 'mental health' really only referred to the man roaming the street...or chained to the treatment bed. Is that what ‘mental health’ is all about? What of the person who feels life is no more worth living because of an HIV positive result and contemplates suicide? Or the one who refuses to be consoled and falls into depression also because of a HIV positive result. In my work as a Counselor, I have come to see the links between HIV and mental health (especially the ways in which they interact - people living positively are more prone to mental health challenges while those living with mental health challenges can be more prone to HIV). I will be sharing more with you in future blogs...
A group of 14 Adherence Counselors and Treatment Coordinators gathered at the Gede Foundation Training Room on Saturday afternoon (May 24, 2014) to start the Gede-NEPWHAN baseline study as part of their joint partnership on Enhancing the Capacity of HIV/AIDS Adherence Counselors to Improve Treatment and Care in the FCT.
The purpose of the gathering was for the group to know how to administer the baseline questionnaire and to be introduced to the importance of mental health knowledge, particularly in relation to HIV/AIDS. From the questions and concerns shared by the participants, it was clear that mental health awareness needs to be raised at the community level. The research will also result in a major document which will be circulated widely throughout the development and health community.
For more information about the project, please contact Godwin Etim at email@example.com
Gede and NEPWHAN hosted representatives of leading civil society organisations for an initial discussion on the implications on their programmes of the implications of the 2013 National Policy for Mental Health Services Delivery on CSOs. This meeting marked the first time ever for CSOs to meet to discuss mental health initiatives in Nigeria.
Participants reflected on gaps in knowledge and services for mental health at the community level and also discussed the implications of the 2013 Policy, including ways in which CSOs could become better coordinated for advocacy, awareness raising and, where appropriate, service delivery. The group agreed to meet within the next few weeks to discuss the details.
With vital information on the history of the National Policy and mhGAP provided by the WHO representative, the group agreed to form a coordinating body that will formulate plans for advancing mental health promotion, prevention, and treatment.
Gede Foundation thanks Yar’Adua Centre for the use of the Board Room and the following sponsors for lending support to this activity: HE Frank Ventures, CJ Bookshop Ltd, Donns Media, Prefair Concepts, and Elo.C Enugo West Africa Ltd.