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Comportamento / 01/06/2021

WORLD NEWS

Nigeria opens hotline to help people with mental health affected by the pandemic

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Nigeria opens hotline to help people with mental health affected by the pandemic


Anxiety attacks and panic attacks have become common since the start of the pandemic in Nigeria

The increase in mental illnesses in the midst of the pandemic led Nigeria to open a free helpline to serve the population. Trained psychologists and counselors are already responding to requests for help across the country, reported VOA (Voice of Africa).

Official estimates indicate that the number of people affected by mental illness has tripled since the beginning of the pandemic. Still, less than 10% get or seek help because of the stigmas still associated with these problems.

Nigeria opens hotline to help civilians with mental health affected by pandemic

The direct channel should facilitate this process, said psychologist Aisha Abdullahi, head of the helpline's advisory team. Abdullahi began providing free online counseling in April 2020, when Nigeria registered the first Covid-19 cases.

Anxiety attacks and panic attacks have become common since the start of the pandemic in Nigeria, reported Abdullahi. According to her, about 5,000 people contacted the team of advisers during 2020 to ask for help.

Uncertainty

The main reason for the decline in the population's mental health is the uncertainty generated by the virus. Despite being the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria has half of its 201 million population unemployed or hostage to informality.

In the country, it is estimated that 87 million people live on less than US$ 1.90 a day, equivalent to R$ 10.66. High birth rates also have an impact on economic and social instability. Each Nigerian woman has an average of 5.2 children. Nigeria will be among the most populous nations in the world by 2050.

“The virus has done a lot of harm to societies around the world,” Special Tasks Minister George Akume said at the program's launch on May 18. "Counseling has become an essential tool for controlling the behavior of those affected."


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