Gede Foundation began in 2002 as one of the pioneer non-governmental organizations to provide service delivery to underserved and highly stigmatised populations. Part of our fundamental objective when we started was to provide a ‘one stop’ shop for high quality treatment and care in HIV/AIDS, training, advocacy and research.
Today, Gede’s drive to be constantly at the cutting edge of underserved and highly stigmatized health burdens has recently seen the Foundation embrace and address growing concerns over mental health and its general impact not only with people living with HIV/AIDS but the general population at large. Due in part to cultural taboos surrounding issues of mental health in African cultures, mental health remains a low priority on the policy agenda.
The fundamental objective of Gede’s Mental Health Campaign is to break down taboos, promote awareness about mental health issues, advance policy on mental health, reduce stigma and discrimination amongst those with mental illnesses and start a national dialogue on the growing and high cost of mental illness. Our campaign seeks to normalize this national dialogue by working with partners at the government and community levels to help build sustainable mental health programs that will bring health care issues out of the shadows.
While we welcome an increasing openness to talk about mental health in Nigeria, our aim is to go further and grow a new generation who can itemize mental well-being and its high cost on our private and public spheres of life.