One of Africa’s highly sensational stories is that of Emmanuel Oluwasayomi Ahmadu, popularly known as Mr. Voiceover, a graduate from department of Mass Communication in University of Benin (UNIBEN), who hails from Kogi State and has represented his University, Kogi State and Nigeria respectively to bag numerous national and international award competitions, and a current serving corps member in Kwara State, whose inspiring story recently went viral on the internet, served as a source of Inspiration to thons of millions of people worldwide and got him featured on numerous national and international satellite and terrestrial Television Channels, Radio Stations And national newspapers, including on the international television network, British Broadcasting Commission (BBC), ongoing on ‘Great Big Story’ on CNN on his educational ordeals and setbacks on how he enrolled into Sixteen (16) primary schools, attended Fourteen (14) secondary schools, repeated junior and senior classes severally, lost his Dad along the line, took the University Matriculation Exams Five (5) times and wrote o’level exams seventeen (17) times before he secured admission into the University, all due to broken home, has deemed it fit to extend his ongoing nationwide campaign against depression and suicide to Kwara State.
Mr. Voiceover who revealed to our correspondence during an interview at this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 held at The Women Affiars And Social Development in Ilorin, Kwara State, said he is committed to using his unique experience to give back to the country in tackling the global problem of depression and suicide across Nigeria and beyond. He stated that good health and well-being is the third sustainable development goal of the United Nations and revealing that Nigeria ranks 15th in the world suicide statistics according to Wikipedia as of 2016. And in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) research, that depression will emerge the 2nd most prevailing health problem in world history by 2020, Mr Voiceover, a survivor of depression and suicide comtemplation is using his inspiring story to serve as a ray of hope to tackle the global menace of depression and suicide prevalent among youths in Kwara State.
On May 7, 2019, a 20-year-old senior secondary school student, Moji Agboola, died in Omu-Aran, Kwara, after taking poison. The deceased, an SS1 student, died at Adeyemo Hospital in the town due to complications in her body system as a result of the poison she ingested after she reportedly failed her promotion examination.
Another middle-age trader, identified as Iya Ayo, was also rushed to Omu-Aran General Hospital on Wednesday evening, for taking substance believed to be poison. The mother of two, who lived around Orolodo area of the town, was said to have complained severally over her husband’s inability to offset their rent arrears.
Also, Abodunrin, who was a 2006 graduate of Accounting from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, relapsed into depression and took his life on November 21, 2018.
Meanwhile, Adigun Emmanuel, a 27-year-old final year student of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Ilorin, also committed suicide by ingesting a bottle of Sniper after he failed his final year project for the third time.
Another lecturer at the Department of Crop Production, College of Agriculture, Kwara State University, Malete, Dr. Solomon Osunlola, also took his own life after his request to be made a full-time lecturer was declined. Osunlola was said to have fallen into depression after which he took his life.
According to Mr. Voiceover, “One way I can contribute my quota to National development and to add value to the world, is to continue in creating enabling platforms to tackling the menace of depression and suicide that is currently a threat to human lives across the world, through my national project on ‘Community Mental Health Awareness And Sensitization Programme’ which is currently ongoing across various states of the federation. Hence, I will be glad to have the support of the Kwara State government, national and international health agencies, well-meaning global citizens, and the media in curbing the alarming rate of hopelessness, trauma, depression, mental devastations etc, resulting to the massive increase in cultism, prostitution, illegal migration, internet fraud, drug abuse, school dropouts, teenage pregnancy, rape, and other vices prevalent amongst youths in Kwara State, in Nigeria and globally as well as seeking support to train unemployed youths on skill acquisition programmes relevant to thier interest as a way to tackle unemployment.” He revealed.
Mr Voiceover has charged those passing through difficult situation to remain calm and forget suicide thoughts, stressing that suicide can never be a solution to current predicament. His inspiring viral story on how he wrote O’level examinations 17 times is an indication that every problem has solutions and suicidal thought is not the best approach in tackling seemingly difficult situation, revealed this while having a chat with our correspondence on the need to tackle the upsurge of depression and suicide in Nigeria through mental health awareness.
“No matter how much pain you’re experiencing right now, you’re not alone. Some of the finest, most admired, needed, and talented people have been where you are now. Many of us have thought about taking our own lives when we’ve felt overwhelmed by depression and devoid of all hope. But the pain of depression can be treated and hope can be renewed. No matter what your situation, there are people who need you, places where you can make a difference, and experiences that can remind you that life is worth living. It takes real courage to face death and step back from the brink. You can use that courage to face life, to learn coping skills for overcoming depression, and for finding the strength to keep going.
“Remember, your emotions are not fixed, they are constantly changing. How you feel today may not be the same as how you felt yesterday or how you’ll feel tomorrow or next week. Your absence would create grief and anguish in the lives of friends and loved ones. There are many things you can still accomplish in your life. There are sights, sounds, and experiences in life that have the ability to delight and lift you, and that you would miss. Your ability to experience pleasurable emotions is equal to your ability to experience distressing emotions.”
While reacting to question on how to tackle depression and suicidal thoughts, he said the first step in coping with depression is share disturbing thoughts and open up to persons who can share in our burden. According to him, “It may be a family member, friend, therapist, member of the clergy, teacher, family doctor, coach, or an experienced counselor at the end of a helpline. Find someone you trust and let them know how bad things are. Don’t let fear, shame, or embarrassment prevent you from seeking help. And if the first person you reach out to doesn’t seem to understand, try someone else. Just talking about how you got to this point in your life can release a lot of the pressure that’s building up and help you find a way to cope.”
He further revealed his ongoing project by his Non-Governmental Organization, on the Community Mental Health Awareness And Sensitization Programme ongoing across Nigeria, as well as seeking support on his ongoing full-story book publication to be circulated on global bookstores and adopted by examination bodies to serve as a tool to tackle depression and suicide especially amongst youths, also seeking support to have his story (published book) being adapted into a cinema movie to be shown across the world to serve as a ray of hope to curb the problem of depression and suicide across the world.
He also revealed that his team has commenced national orientation campaign tour across all higher institutions and colleges in Nigeria as a way to tackle the alarming rate of depression and suicide amongst youths in higher institutions and secondary schools in the country.
Meanwhile, he seeks funding, support and collaboration from well-meaning and concerned individuals, government parastatals, NGOs, and mental health agencies in Nigeria and globally to support his vision on reducing the rate of depression and suicide in Nigeria by 50 percent through using his story as a way to give back to the country.
www.sojworldnews.com (c) September 16, 2019