Medical professionals, academics, business leaders converge for launch of Asido Foundation
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
In accordance with its mandate to promote mental health awareness and dispel preconceived notions pertaining to mental disorders, a non-profit organisation, Asido Foundation, was founded to fill the void inherent in the Nigerian public domain concerning mental health.
Founded by lecturer and consultant psychiatrist, Dr. Jibril Abdulmalik, the Asido Foundation was officially unveiled at the University College Hospital of Ibadan on Monday 2nd of September 2019 at a grand reception attended by dignitaries, world-renowned medical practitioners, corporate executives and mental health enthusiasts.
Inspired by the dearth of specialised experts in the country and a yearning to eradicate the stigma and ignorance surrounding mental health in the country, the activities of Asido Foundation predicates on providing evidence-based information, interventions and contributing towards resolving the huge mental health needs of the populace.
Speaking at the launch of the foundation, Dr. Abdulmalik remarked: “mental illnesses are disorders of the brain and affected persons and their families need all the help they can get, in order to recover and get back on track with their lives. Shame and stigma only drive it underground and causes untold suffering to those affected. There should be no more shame for mental disorders than there is for physical disorders. We will work hard to promote better understanding, empathy and help with recovery while empowering affected persons and their families”.
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MENTAL HEALTH: SEPTEMBER 1, IBADAN (L-R) Alhaji Usman Abdulmalik, Member, Board of Trustees (BoT) , Asido Foundation; Mr. Babatunde Aina, Official, United Nations; Dr. Jibril Abdulmalik, Author and Founder of the Asido Foundation; Dr Omotola Abdulmalik, Medical Practitioner; Alhaji Mashood A. Yusuf, Chairman, BoT, and Mr Meka Olowola, Member, BoT, at the public presentation of the Asido Foundation and the launch of the book titled “Optimal Mental Health: An Everyday Guide” at the University College Hospital of Ibadan
The Father of the Day, Emeritus Professor E. Oluwole Akande was excited about the objectives of the Asido Foundation and pledged his full support. The Chairman of the Asido Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Alhaji Mashood A. Yusuf, lent credence to the activities of the organisation while addressing the audience of the launch of the foundation. As stated by Alhaji Mashood Yusuf, “these objectives can only be actualized if everyone keys in and there is support from all. He reiterated that everyone had a role to play, in spreading this message of love, understanding, and support for affected persons”.
Furthermore, Dr. Abdulmalik utilized the occasion to present to the public, his book on mental health titled Optimum Mental Health: An Everyday Guide. The book, which is a culmination of a three-year research and writing experience details the common misconceptions about mental illness, remedial actions that must be taken to dispel common prejudices, while also proffering tips on how to maintain a balanced lifestyle that promotes optimal emotional wellbeing.
Commentators applauded the visionary approach of the book, positing that it opens new frontiers to the study of mental disorders in Nigeria. “Dr. Abdulmalik has taken the bold and difficult step of translating knowledge from the disciplines of psychiatry and psychology into simple and clear everyday language describing steps that can be taken to improve our mental health,” maintained Prof Norman Sartorius, a Ex-President of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), who is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Branding expert and board member of Asido Foundation, Meka Olowola, similarly hailed the prose and its seminal contributions to the field of mental health awareness across the country by saying:” Using gripping relatable narratives, Dr. Abdulmalik is quietly revolutionizing our understanding and approach to mental health in this country.”
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS: SEPTEMBER 1, IBADAN (L-R) Prof Isaac F. Adewole, Ex-Minister of Health; Professor Oye Gureje; Professor Olayinka Omigbodun; Mr Meka Olowola, Prince Lateef O. Fagbemi, SAN; Dr Omotola Abdulmalik; and Dr Jibril Abdulmalik.
On his part, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka commended the unwavering commitment of Dr. Abdulmalik to providing much-needed clarity in the oft-maligned topic. He remarked: “I am impressed by Dr. Abdulmalik’s passion, consistency, and elegant communication. This book is a pragmatic illustration of the utilization of scholarly expertise in the service of humanity.”
Other Global mental health experts such as Professor Oye Gureje and Professor Graham Thornicroft also endorsed the book and the body of work that led to its production. The Medical Director of the Aro Neuropsychiatric Hospital observed that “the book is simply a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) toolkit that should be in every home.”
Optimum Mental Health: An Everyday Guide is available nationwide at selected stores with its paperback cover costing N5,000 while the hardcover selling for the sum of N10,000.
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