The maiden edition on of “Break the Silence, Break the Stigma” Round Table Discussion, hosted by Tosin Olakanye (a.k.a Ayanbinrin, the Mother-Drum), which was recently staged has been applauded as a success.
The programme packaged by Mother-Drum Healing Arts Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded by Ayanbinrin, had in attendance, Dr Aza Stephen Allsop, MD, PhD, and Dr Ashley Doucette, MD/MPH, likewise several other participants from all walks of life.
According to organisers, the Mother-Drum Healing Arts Foundation is a non-profit organisation, incorporated in the United State of America with the mission to use the arts to raise awareness about addiction and mental health conditions, as well as to spread a message of hope to individuals and families affected by these conditions.
At the well-attended programme, the conversation started with an opening remark by Ayanbinrin, who said: “According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one in four people will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lives.”
This, she described as a condition with an impact that has compounded significantly with the Covid-19 pandemic now affecting millions of people globally.
“Mental health is one of the most neglected areas of public health. Close to 1 billion people are living with a mental disorder, 3 million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol, and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide. And now, billions of people around the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is having a further impact on people’s mental health,” she said.
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At the programme, discussants who spoke on addiction and mental health challenges, likewise gave enlightenments on differences between addiction and substance use disorder, the difference between mental health and mental health illnesses.
An expert, Dr Ashley Doucette, said, “Everyone has a Mental Health regardless of if you have a Mental Health condition,” while another expert, Dr Aza Allsop, added that, “In Addiction, all the things that are normally rewarding start to lose their values.”
Yet, they said that “the stigma that associated with addiction and substance use disorder and mental health challenges keeps a lot of people from speaking up for help.
The next edition of the programme has been fixed for October 2020, with side attractions which the organisers said will include artistic displays of talents.
“Break the Silence, Break the Stigma” Monthly Virtual Round table discussion is a strategic initiative focused on raising awareness about the societal benefits of early prevention of mental health, or substance use disorders, the available treatments, the integration of arts to support healing, as well as to spread a message of hope through the various artistic mediums that recovery in all its forms is possible.