Saturday, May 7, was a day of celebration for children drawn from various schools in Lagos as they were treated to an entertaining mixture of dance, football and lectures on mental health issues.
Organised by Orunsii Wellcare Foundation to raise awareness on mental health issues, football fans at the venue, Campos Memorial Mini Stadium, were treated to fine soccer artistry by Young Tigers Football Club and FC Barcelona Lagos Academy, with the former running away with 5-0.
Two-goal hero, Bada Moses, opened scores for Young Tigers and made it 2-0 before goals from Aweda Yusuf and Odunsi Adeola made first-half scores 4-0.
A much-improved FC Barcelona tried to hold Young Tigers at bay in the second half, but they could not stop Yusuf from getting the fifth goal and his second as the game ended 5-0.
Aside football game, officials of the foundation educated participants on the mental health issues and ways to help anybody suffering from the ailment.
Speaking on the programme, one of the coordinators of the Mental Health Awareness Day, Dr. Olumide Sodunrin, who is also an official of Orunsii Foundation, said the NGO decided to create awareness on the issue because “we found out that mental health was a silent killer, which people are ashamed to come out to say they have. So, many people are not aware of the problem.
“We also discovered that society stigmatises people with mental health issues, and we asked questions and found out that people had negative ideas about the issues.”
“We want people to know that as a treatable ailment, they should not have negative feelings about it. So, we decided to raise awareness about it.
“The other issue is bullying in schools, which has been trending in recent times. So, we decided to bring in school children to teach them that bullying is wrong and should not be condoned. We also try to raise their awareness on mental health issues, depression and other ailments, which they should not stigmatise their mates for.”
The event, which had participants from the public and private sectors, had the wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu (represented by wife of Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat), as special guest of honour.
Sodunrin explained that the Lagos State government is one of their partners in the battle against mental, health issues, adding, “They are watching us to understand what we are doing and how they will support us.”