The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, Young Pharmacists Group, YPG, has emerged winner of the FIP’s Best National Health Promotion Campaign Award with its Mental Health Campaign.
Announcing winners of the different awards categories at the FIP Virtual Congress 2020 Sunday afternoon, PSN-YPG was announced as the winner of the Best National Health Promotion Award.
The group clinched the award with its mental health campaign, which it innovated for suicide prevention promotion on World Mental Health Day 2020.
Receiving the award on behalf of the PSN-YPG Nigeria, Ms. Yinka Oguns, the coordinator of PSN-YPG Lagos, said about 80 per cent suicides occur in low and middle countries, as suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds in the world, Nigeria inclusive.
“Nearly 80% of suicides occur in low and middle-income countries. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds in the world, and Nigeria is not an exception.
“Despite the staggering statistics, awareness is relatively low and mental health issues are spoken about in hushed tones. This campaign enabled pharmacists, as key players in public health, to shed more light on this issue, and we are very proud to receive this international award,” she said.
Oguns revealed how a group of 40 young pharmacist volunteers trained on managing mental health issues, worked in collaboration with the Suicide Prevention Institute of Nigeria and mental health advocacy and rehabilitation organisations, to execute the project.
She said the mental health campaign consisted of three elements: an educational series on social media, a health walk and a public engagement exercise in a community with a high incidence of drug abuse in central Lagos.
The campaign, which reached over 1,150 people, in five local languages common to the community, both verbally and through flyers, had about 200 people referred to the partner organisations involved in the campaign for follow-up, she stated.
Another significant event at the opening ceremony of the 2020 FIP Virtual Congress was the conferment of FIP Fellowship Awards on some pharmacists including, Dr Charlottee Rossing from Denmark; Mr Vaiyapuri (Puri) Subramaniam from USA; Prof. Shigeo Yamamura of Japan;Prof. Marilyn Morris, among others.