"I felt like everybody was against me. There was no hope. All I needed was a way to escape this wicked world with wicked and uncaring people everywhere. I wanted to leave..."

Hold on, don't leave yet. There is hope for you.

For years, issues concerning mental health has been downplayed by Nigerians, and the government. We believe that anybody exhibiting signs of mental challenges has a spiritual problem. We have attached spirituality and diabolism to virtually everything concerning mental health.

The society itself has been bedeviled by people who would rather try to become famous through your problems instead of genuinely helping you.

People no longer care about people around them. All cases of depression and other psychological challenges have been erroneously linked to poverty.

Psychological challenges like depression, PTSD, phobia, etc, cannot be erased with money. People think that with money, all their problems are solved. I'd like to inform you that poverty is not actually the main factor responsible for suicides. Rich people also commit suicide.

One may decide to take his life because he feels he has failed in life, or the shame of being exposed for something he did or outright mental disorder which predisposes one to suicidal thoughts.

Whatever be the reason for the latest upsurge in suicides, taking your life is not an option. It's cowardly and should never be contemplated by anybody.

Sometimes, you admire the wrong persons. You compare yourself with your mates on social media who flaunt costly clothes, flashy cars and their flamboyant lifestyle. Frankly speaking, I have been in this situation before, but when you get closer, you'd realise that your friends are living a trashy and fake life. You are way better than them.

When you compare yourself with your so called rich mates, you should also look back to see some of your mates who have no job, no food to eat, no shelter over their heads. Some of your mates are also crippled, blind, on the sick bed, down with cancer, pneumonia, can't eat through the mouth... I know the devil will not allow you see the other side of life because he is determined to lead you to your doom. It's time to take that power to determine what you want for yourself from the devil. Decide to live.

Whether your problem is caused by things happening around you, or by some biological factors, the best move should be to SEEK HELP. even the Bible says, seek and you shall find. Approach your senior colleagues in your work place, meet your parents, lecturers or anybody you can confide in. Table your issues before him or her. You don't have to die in silence.

Also, the inability of our religious leaders to play the roles expected of them is yet another factor which should be checkmated. Our pastors, Imams, Priests, Daddies and Mummies in the Lord, are supposed to play the role of counselors. They are supposed to be there to act as a guide and support for their members and followers.

Our religious bodies are also supposed to act in liaison with psychiatric or rehab homes. Don't chain your mentally challenged members to the Church pillar to be flogged. You cannot flog out mental problem. Even as you pray, the right thing should be done. Take them to Psychiatric homes.

And for those who you pray to God to provide their needs, but when it's your turn, all members will start sowing seeds and donating money. You can call for donations for that church member you know needs it. Allow God answer your prayers through you.

And finally, we need to give the field of Psychology and Counseling it's deserved place in the society. Psychological counseling is a professional field which should be sustained in every sphere of human life. Psychologists are required wherever humans work. Even animals. We should have Counselors in the schools, hospitals, government ministries, departments and agencies. Toll free helplines should also be published so that at any point in time people can have access to help.

Please, we are in this together. Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, that is if you don't kill yourself.

This life is beautiful. We can't all have all we want. We can't all be the same, but we can work harder to become better. A dead man does not become better.

You have to live to win.

#MentallyAwareNG #MentalHealth #Suicide

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