At a mental health talk organised by the Association of Mass Communication Students on Thursday, a Consultant Psychiatrist from the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Unilorin Teaching Hospital, Dr. Ayotunde Oduntola asserted the commitment of the University Hospital to ensuring that the student’s mental health is well balanced.
Dr. Omotosho stated that the University Hospital prioritises mental health issues and that students with mental health illnesses are treated for free at the hospital.
The Psychiatrist who emphasised the need for students to protect and boost their mental health advised them to ensure that they take adequate rest, relate well with their parents, lecturers, and colleagues, and engage in recreational and religious activities that can help to boost their mental health.
Dr. Omotosho also encouraged students to support one another as mental health issues are quite common among the youths. According to him, “three-quarters of all mental health you will ever see would have started in the youthful age. About fifty percent of all mental illnesses would have started by age 14.”
Dr. Ayotunde Omotosho encouraged students with mental health illnesses to seek professional help as quickly as possible.
Similarly, a specialist from the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, UITH, Dr. Halima Arikewiyo advised the students to maximize the services of the experts at the Guidance and Counselling Unit of the University. She advised the students to always speak up when they have mental issues.
Dr. Halima also enjoined the students to be kind to one another as we don’t know what people are going through.
Describing the importance of the event, the Head of Department, Mass Communication, Dr. Lambe Mustapha stated that the Faculty members of the department are aware of the challenges most students face when they get to the university and that they want their students to have a stable state of mind.
According to him, “We face a lot of challenges daily; academics, financial, physical, mental health, we have a lot of challenges. And for us to be balanced people, we just have to be prepared. And one way of preparing is equipping yourself with the necessary information that will help you to handle situations as they will be coming. And that is why we are privileged here to have experts in this line of thinking who will be able to elucidate how we can manage ourselves and prevent falling into maladjustment souls.”
The HOD emphasised that the department believes that the lecturers are not only responsible for the students’ theoretical and practical training but also embrace the concept of the total person which means that they want their students to be intellectually sound, mentally alert, physically able, and socially competent.
Meanwhile, the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, Prof. Adesina Azeez emphasised the importance of innovative leadership and commended AMCOS for organising the Mental Health Clinic.
He said, “we don’t want you to be inventing the wheel as the executive of the association, coming to do what we are used to. We appreciate many of the things that you are doing. We want you to come up with new things that will benefit the people you are serving because leadership is about serving.”
On his part, the President, AMCOS Unilorin, Preye Campbell, described the mental health clinic as one of the steps his administration is taking to ensure that its members’ mental health is improved. He stated that the clinic was a platform to make the Mass Communication Students realise that they are not alone in whatever they are facing.
He advised his fellow students to always “be themselves, speak up, express their minds with the appropriate channel and get into positive relationships.”
The event also had in attendance the Director, Unilorin Health Centre, Dr. Rasheed Oduntola, and the Chief Security Officer, Unilorin, Dr. Abdulwasiu Oyewo who was represented by Mr. Ibrahim Diji.