NAS Expresses Concern Over Increasing Rate Of Depression, Mental Illness Among Adolescents
By Tunde Karounwi
Members of the Oxbow Marino Deck of the National Association of Seadogs (NAS), otherwise known as Pyrate Confraternity, have expressed concern over the increasing rate of depression and mental illness among adolescents in society.
The Convener and Capoon of the Oxbow Marino Deck of the National Association of Seadogs (NAS), Mr. Ebi Ayerite, during a medical outreach organised by the association, said the number of adolescents, who struggle with depression and mental imbalance as they transit into adulthood, has become disturbing.
The medical outreach, which was held at the Community Primary School, Central Epie in Yenagoa, the State capital, under the theme: “Promoting Good Mental Health in Adolescence: A Catalyst for Successful Transition from Childhood to Adulthood,” was targeted at fostering good mental health among adolescents, illuminate the common mental health challenges in adolescents, including depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, self-harm, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
About 100 students and four teachers of the Central Epie Secondary School, Opolo-Epie, participated in the event, which featured distinguished guest speakers from various fields, including Dr. Oru Inetsol of the Department of Internal Medicine, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri-Yenagoa; Frank Akpojisheri Ogheneochuko of the Department of Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing Sciences, Niger Delta University; and Ene Deriateide Efere, Vice Principal Academics, Bayelsa State School of Nursing Tombia.
They urged parents, teachers, and adolescents to remain vigilant for signs of these challenges, encouraging open dialogue and seeking assistance when needed, while also emphasising that recognising these issues early on is critical to preventing the escalation of mental health challenges into adulthood.
They also urged the management of tertiary and secondary institutions of learning in the State to provide practical tools for maintaining good mental health, such as allowing students and teachers to engage in regular physical activity to manage stress, maintain a healthy daily routine, cultivate mindfulness, limiting screen time, addressing emotions openly, setting realistic goals, practising effective time management, moderating caffeine and sugar intake, and seeking professional help when necessary.
Participants at the event expressed their gratitude towards the Oxbow Marino Deck of the National Association of Seadogs and Mr. Ebi Ayerite for organising the insightful outreach.
They pledged to integrate the lessons learnt into their daily lives and to spread awareness about the significance of promoting good mental health among adolescents.