Moses finds the mental health support he needs

Stories | April 26, 2022

People in rural areas often miss out on getting the health and support services they need.

This is true for Moses, a 34-year-old man from a rural village in Benue State, Nigeria. The youngest of 16 siblings, Moses was three years old when he had a suspected epileptic seizure. The village people had little knowledge or understanding of mental or neurological conditions, and Moses’ condition worsened. At 15, he began to experience delusions and drastic changes in his behaviour. His family sought treatment from traditional healers and through prayer, but nothing seemed to work and they began to lose hope.

The CBM-supported Comprehensive Community Mental Health Program (CCMHP) came to his village. A trained community health extension worker reached out to Moses and his family. He was enrolled in a treatment program and given access to medications. The results were life changing.

Self-Help Group (SHG)

As Moses’ condition improved, he was introduced to a Self-Help Group – a place with people can share their experiences, and get access to group counselling and therapy, health education and cultural integration. The group’s name is Olehoi which means “home is good”. 

“Joining the self-help group has been a source of relief,” Moses said.

Moses also trained in carpentry and was supported by CCMHP with tools and equipment to start his own business. “Training in vocational skills has made me feel like human again,” Moses said.

Moses has shared his story with people from neighbouring communities to raise awareness and create demand for accessible community mental health services. He intends to get married and start a family of his own soon.

The Comprehensive Community Mental Health Program for Benue State is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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