Safe Space

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // Mental health is a state of an individual’s emotional and psychological wellbeing (Mental health basics,2018). People with mental illness. // Unresolved mental health problems can to a great extent affect the social, emotional, physical and educational development of teens and young adults, which in turn can have an enormous long-term negative effect on their adult life. (Fraser et al 2007). Studies [ show that young people that have positive mental health are much less likely to exhibit risk-taking behaviors such as addiction and even suicide (Reynold et al., 2013). According to the W.H.O. (2019),1 in 5 of the world's children and adolescents have a mental disorder with About 50% of mental health issues beginning before the age of 14. // Studies in Nigeria reveal that there is an existing high level of ignorance about mental illness with people tending to exhibit negative attitudes towards people who identify as having mental health illness. Also, the Rates of mental health workers vary from below 2 per 100,000 populations in low-income countries like Nigeria to 70 per 100,000 in high-income countries. // Presently openly discussing mental health issues is seen as a taboo in a Nigerian setting and people are scared of being stigmatized or labelled as being mad as madness is abhorred as a sign of a cursed bloodline. Research shows that 1/5th of suicide cases in Nigeria are of people aged 13-19, between January- June 2019,30% of suicide committed in Nigeria were students between the ages of 15-29 (Daily Trust,2019). These are worrying figures showing that young people are not able to access the help they need. // This project safe space project is an open-access web-based innovative inclusive system that makes mental health care accessible to teens and young adults in Nigeria who would have been excluded from accessing necessary education /information because they would be unable to afford to see mental health personnel or are so afraid of being stigmatized. In the website is contained age-appropriate carefully curated OER in the form of informative and easy to understand write-up on the different mental disorders, explainer videos, inspirational stories and a provision of a safe online hub connecting people sharing the same diagnosis. Here users can anonymously share their feelings with an understanding and supportive group. This presentation will be centered on the import of this particular project and giving a walkthrough of the project to demonstrate its design features and functionality. // Paper ID 7259