The global burden of mental health disorders is projected to reach 15% by the year 2020. By this time, it is estimated that common mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse-related disorders, will disable more people than complications arising from AIDS, heart disease, accidents, and wars combined[1].  According to WHO (2017), the proportion of the global population with anxiety disorders in 2015 is estimated to be 3.6%. As with depression, anxiety disorders are more common among females than males (4.6% compared to 2.6% at the global level)[2]. Thus, anxiety, panic disorders and post- traumatic stress disorders generally affect women far more often than men.

In Nigeria, an estimated 20%–30% of our population are believed to suffer from mental disorders.[3] This is a very significant number but unfortunately, the attention given to mental health disorders in Nigeria and the level of awareness of the Nigerian public on mental health issues is poor, and the misconceptions regarding mental health have continued to flourish.

When it comes to treating anxiety disorders, research shows that therapy is usually the most effective option. In a recent report, (Smith, Segal and Segal 2018) claimed that anxiety therapy—unlike anxiety medication—treats more than just the symptoms of the problem. Therapy can help you uncover the underlying causes of your worries and fears; learn how to relax; look at situations in new, less frightening ways; and develop better coping and problem-solving skills. Therapy gives you the tools to overcome anxiety and teaches you how to use them[4].

There seems to be an increased rate of depression and suicide in Nigeria, thus the need to create awareness on mental health issues and provide cognitive behavioural therapy interventions. We are committed to reducing the prevalence and incidence of anxieties and depression among adults, teenagers and children in Nigeria and beyond. Our approach to counselling and therapy is driven by the needs of the client and embraces modern technology (with many of our sessions given by skype and/or whatsupp) and, where possible, face to face engagement. We believe in the value of brief therapy and most of our clients follow a programme of between 6-8 sessions depending on the presenting issues.

Under the aegis of the HELP initiative counselling and therapeutic services will be rendered free of charge to vulnerable, underserved and poor women, children and teenagers.

This psychotherapy services will however be offered at a token fee for women of higher social economic status through a sister business company. Fees paid will be used to advance the activities and services of the HELP initiative.

Our team of core therapists are:

Ibidunni Adeniyi has been a coach and a mentor of over ten years and is a certified Cognitive Behavioral Practitioner with a Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She is a fellow of the Institute of Leadership, Gummersbach, Germany and the Institute of Leadership and Management in the UK. She also holds a Diploma on Conflict Resolution from the University of Uppsala, Sweden. Her special passion is to see a society filled with purposeful people with reduced emotional distress.

John Minto has been mentoring and counselling for over twenty five years and, in addition to his UK higher degrees, has Certificates and Diplomas in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Transactional Analysis. John is also a Certified CBT Practitioner with the Academy of Modern Applied Psychology and is an Associate Member of the UK Institute of Counselling and an Ordinary Member of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies. His Fellowships include those for the Royal Society and the Institute of Leadership and Management, both based in the UK.

[1] Ngui EM, Khasakhala L, Ndetei D, Roberts LW. Mental disorders, health inequalities and ethics: A global perspective. Int Rev Psychiatry 2010;22:235-44.

[2] World Health Organization. (2017) Depression and other common mental disorders: Global health estimates. [online]. Available: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/254610/WHO-MSD-MER-2017.2-eng.pdf [6 Sept 2018

[3] Onyemelukwe C. Stigma and mental health in Nigeria: Some suggestions for law reform. J Law Policy Glob 2016;55:63-8.

[4] Smith, M, Segal, R. and Segal, J. (2018) Therapy for Anxiety Disorders. Helpguide.org. Available: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/therapy-for-anxiety-disorders.htm [10 Sept 2018]