Relief appears in the horizon for those suffering from mental illness in Nigeria as Magna Carta Deck (Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the Home Counties United Kingdom Chapter of the National Association of Seadogs(Pyrates Confraternity) in collaboration with Walk347 is staging a virtual conference to address the plight of all mental illness victims.

The conference tagged “Ban Chaining! Stop Torture! Prevent Destitution! Challenging and Changing Attitudes through Accessible Mental Health Services” is expected to have in attendance, Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Femi Adebajo of the National Health Service, United Kingdom and Dr Julian Eaton, Public Health Psychiatrist, London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Also expected to speak at the conference is Dr Chris Piwuna, Consultant Psychiatrist and Senior Lecture, University of Jos Teaching Hospital and Mr Folajaiye Kareem, Director Psychological Services, Asido Foundation.

A joint press statement signed Mr Choox Nwoye, Capoon, Magna Carta Deck and Dr. Obinna Anuruegbe, Collaboration Ambassador; Walk347 stated that the association has always been passionate about the mental health causes.

The duo while disclosing that the first phase of the campaign commenced in May 2020 with Ultra Long distance walk events to raise funds for Amaudo, a United Kingdom Mental Health Charity doing fantastic work in Nigeria especially in South East noted that the second phase scheduled for Saturday August 29 would bring together experts in mental health, experienced in the various efforts, especially by non-governmental organisations, to improve access to Mental Health Services in Nigeria.

The statement read in part “Misconceptions, stigma and discrimination sustain attitudes to mental health illness that cause chaining, torture and destitution of mentally ill people. As in many parts of the world, inaccessible mental health services in Nigeria, worsen the situation of disadvantaged people who become mentally ill. The #BanStopPrevent Campaign is purposed to challenge the attitudes underpinning the chaining, torture and destitution that mentally ill people are susceptible to in Nigeria.”

Speaking further on the conference, Anuruegbe said the key objective of the conference is to identify and campaign against certain unwholesome practices in mental health care settings, reduce specific cruel and degrading practices in care settings, as well as raise awareness about social inequalities, such as homelessness, that accompany and complicate mental health disorders in our community.

“Overall, the campaign the conference is spearheading aims to improve understanding of mental disorders, reduce the stigma around them and help mobilise opinion towards improved health and social care provision in Nigeria”
The organisers implored Nigerians to visit its website at www.walk347.com to join the campaign to help victims of mental illness in Nigeria