She Writes Woman, a leading organisation that gives mental health a voice in Nigeria, has launched a toll-free helpline to help Nigerians deal with any emotional and psychological distress or collective trauma caused by COVID-19 and the #EndSARS nationwide protests.
Founder, Hauwa Ojeifo, when talking about the launch of the helpline, said that the helpline couldn’t have come at a better time. “Nigerians are going through a collective trauma due to the #EndSARS protests and the resulting murders waged by the government. Taking care of our mental health now, more than ever, is an act of resistance,” she said.
The toll-free number is easy to remember and it ensures that the caller need not have airtime to access quality mental health support. 08008002000 is picked by trained and licensed counselors who deliver on-the-spot counseling to calls at no cost to the caller. Even though there’s a toll-free number to call for help, the She Writes Woman communications team has some handy coping techniques that’ll help you deal with anxiety, shock, and grief:
Take a break from the internet, it’s okay. Logging off all sites helps reduce depressive thoughts about current events. Shield yourself from triggering narratives and images.
You don’t have to engage anyone, you don’t have to say anything. Disengaging will ensure that conversations will not trigger you. It’s fine to want to be alone with your thoughts; solitude will help calm you down.
Whatever you’re feeling now – sad, angry or even exhausted – is completely valid. You are valid, and your feelings are valid. Do not let anyone or anything tell you otherwise, know that you are human and your emotions are valid.
Do something that cheers you up. It may seem selfish, but you need to take care of your feelings. Take a short walk, listen to some melancholic songs, have a glass of wine, just try something that cheers you up.
Speak to a Professional
Speaking to a mental health professional can help you navigate your feelings and thoughts at this time. Call the toll-free line at She Writes Woman, 08008002000. We are always available; dial in and speak to us. Let’s get through this together.