International Pharmaceutical Federation’s (FIP) 2020 Health Promotion Campaign Award went to the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Young Pharmacists’ Group (PSN-YPG), which developed a suicide prevention campaign that was held on World Mental Health Day.
Working in partnership with the Suicide Prevention Institute of Nigeria and mental health advocacy and rehabilitation organisations, 40 young pharmacist volunteers were trained on managing mental health issues. They chose to take their campaign, which 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.
Information was given in the five languages common to the community, both verbally and through flyers. The campaign reached over 1,150 people and about 200 people were referred to the partner organisations involved in the campaign for follow-up.
Yinka Oguns, the coordinator of PSN-YPG Lagos commented:
“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.”