Mental illness is a serious health issue the same way cancer, HIV and other medical illnesses are
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but for some reason, in many parts of the world, those that suffer from mental health problems are stigmatized.
In Nigeria many label the individuals as possessed by 'evil spirits', dangerous, troublesome...instead of acknowledging that they are people that are perfectly capable of functioning in society if they are given the proper medical care and treatment!
So BattaBox met up with a young Nigerian man, Olamide, that has schizophrenia that has been labelled a criminal, to find out how he manages his mental health and just generally learn more about his day to day life in Nigeria.
"He's a good person. Whenever he has money he gives money out, he buys children things, so whenever I see him in this conditions, I go crazy!" one young man talks about Olamide's character.
"I am his father's mother. His father has exhausted his savings over his case and now he's fed up...we pray God resolves his case this year," his grandmother tells Timothy, "In the middle of the night, he wakes up screaming, strips naked and proceeds to run around the street completely naked."
She goes on to state that the situation was so bad one day that people almost set him on fire at Sura market because they couldn't understand what on earth was going on!
Even when someone offered him a place to live, looked after him, helped him get back on his feet, society didn't allow him be! Rumours swirled that the good samaritan was using him for ritual purposes...the negativity got so bad that the man had no choice but to ask Olamide to leave!
I hope this video sheds much needed light on the hurdles men, women and children that suffer from mental health issues in Nigeria face every single day and has changed/enlightened YOUR perspective.
If you would like to reach out to Olamide, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with him.
Thanks for watching!
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