š™·šš˜šš  ššŒššŠšš— š™ø ššŽššššššŽššŒšššš’ššŸššŽšš•šš¢ ššŽššššžššŒššŠššššŽ šššš‘ššŽ š™½šš’ššššŽšš›šš’ššŠšš— ššŒšš˜šš–šš–ššžšš—šš’šššš¢ ššŠšš—šš/šš˜šš› ššœššŒšš‘šš˜šš˜šš• ššŠšš‹šš˜ššžšš šš–ššŽšš—ššššŠšš• šš‘ššŽššŠšš•šššš‘?

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What is Abnormal Psychology?

Abnormal Psychology is a section of psychology that focuses on the more uncommon or abnormal side of psychology which includes examining the behavior of one person, their thoughts, and emotion.

Stigma in Nigeria

There is this humungous stigma around mental health and/or mental health conditions in Nigeria, that needs to be stopped. In fact, people do not even believe that having a mental health condition is a thing, and if there is a person dealing with one they either call them crazy or mad, which are absolutely not the appropriate words to use. People think that you do not have a valid reason to be feeling a certain way, but that is not true, and that’s exactly what I want to spread and let people know. This community needs to understand that it is okay to be sad, it is okay to show emotion, and it is okay to get help. 

 

This image shows how people dehumanize others, all because they are dealing with unstable mental health. They make people feel like they aren’t strong enough.

What we want to do

Even though many Nigerians struggle with mental health due to the unfortunate things that happen here, and especially in the North. They deny that there is anything wrong. It is important to reduce the stigma around mental health. So in order to do that, my friend and I are making a club to start spreading awareness. With the help of our psychology teacher and counselor, we plan on making a schedule. The schedule will include the different things we will be teaching to our fellow students that will be joining the club. From there we will be spreading awareness in our school, have assemblies, make presentations so that everyone can gain some kind of understanding about mental health.

As we start going through the different lessons, and the people in the club gain more knowledge about mental health, we will step outside of our small school community, to help educate local schools, that do not have access to this kind of education.

Why spreading awareness is important

In Nigeria, many schools close off their students to any information (like mental health), that could actually properly help them in life. A lot of adults think that they need to close off children from information that could be very serious, but sometimes students just need to know.

Because local schools here are very old-fashioned and have the mentality that “adults know better, children will never understand”, kids in Nigeria are never aware of what’s going on in the world. So because my friend Idia and I have the privilege and are exposed to this type of education, we want to take the opportunity and educate others.

By educating less fortunate people we can help them benefit from our knowledge. And they would be able to start forming their own opinions and expanding their knowledge instead of depending on an adult that only see’s something in only one certain way.

How else would someone be able to educate another in an effective way?

How do you think you can take action and start spreading awareness about something you are passionate about?

Deborah van Loenen, American International School of Lagos

4 Comments

4 comments

  1. Hey Deborah!

    Overall, I am so impressed with your project. I think you have done a really great job summing up what you have learned in this class on this project. I really liked your idea of including your friend in this because all tasks are easier with support. How did you convince your friend to help you out? Another thing that really caught my attention is how you explained the cultural differences in how children are taught about mental health in Nigeria-it made me think of our book, Crazy Like Us.

    1. Hey Madelyn!!

      Thank you for commenting! My friend Idia is actually in one of the abnormal psychology classes, and she really enjoys it, so I just asked her what she thought of creating a club with me to spread awareness about mental health. She really liked the idea, so I did not have to do a lot of convincing, she was on the same page as me!

  2. Hey Deborah,

    I think that this project is a really great idea! I like how you have displayed before us, your detailed and affirmative plan. This is a great cause, and I really hope that your club can have a huge impact on your community, and you can truly help educate the youth, in order to have a more generational impact! Iā€™m glad that you are raising awareness about the topics of mental health, as it is something that is very important and deserves more recognition. One question I have for you is, do you know what information you are qualified to teach?

  3. Hey idier,

    Thanks for looking at my project, I would love to try and teach everything, but I have to get it checked with my counselor and psychology teacher to see how much we are permitted to teach.
    bye, Deborah

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