Braveheart: Access to mental health intervention for internally displaced persons

17 January, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Nigeria currently faces a global human rights emergency in mental health. Underpinned by poor societal attitudes towards mental illness and inadequate resources, facilities, and mental health staff, figures suggest that approximately 80% of individuals with serious mental health needs in Nigeria cannot access care. With fewer than 300 psychiatrists for a population of more than 200 million, most of whom are based in urban areas, and in view of poor knowledge of mental disorders at the primary health-care level, caring for people with mental illness is typically left to family members

Ugochukwu O, Mbaezue N, Lawal SA, Azubogu C, Sheikh TL, Vallières F. The time is now: reforming Nigeria's outdated mental health laws. Lancet Glob Health. 2020 Aug;8(8):e989-e990

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Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN) { ] through the Brave Heart project is working to change this narrative especially for internally displaced persons. In 2021, SRHIN launched "Friendship Tent" (a solar-powered structure made from refurbished cargo containers) [ ] where the IDPs get access to mental health care anytime of the day and this structure also provides uninterrupted power supply for the Durumi and New Kuchingoro IDP Camps. The SRHIN Team trained community members to provide mental health interventions for the youths in the community via a fun-filled and engaging structured curriculum available in our SIMBIHealth mobile application. With this intervention, hundreds of youth now have access to mental health intervention anytime and any day. This project is supported by Grand Challenges Canada, National Institute for Health Research (UK), Global Affairs Canada and United Kingdom Agency for International Development (UK AID)

Our goal in SRHIN is to provide access to structured mental health intervention for 1 million young people in vulnerable communities such as internally displaced persons camp, refugees, residents of slums, villages and rural communities, etc by 2023. We are open to partnering with community based/national non-profits, international non-profits, academic institutions, for-profit organizations among others.

You can reach out to me via or to partner or know more about this project and join this movement.

HIFA profile: Miracle Adesina is a physical therapist, heathcare innovator, global health researcher with focus on sexual and mental health and has over 5 years of experience in sexual and mental health advocacy and research. He is a United Nations Academic Impact Millennium Fellow, Global Youth Ambassador for Theirworld (UK-based), Global Goodwill Ambassador, HundrED Ambassador and sits on the board of US-based Universal Care for Africa Foundation. He currently serves as the Country Coordinator (Nigeria), Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN) and Senior Research Associate at SRHIN Research Academy. Miracle has over 50 publications in peer-reviewed international journals and serves as journal reviewer for more than 15 journals. He envisions a world where health information and services will be available and affordable for individuals in slums, villages, underserved communities, internally displaced persons camps and rural regions. Miracle is a member of the WHO/HIFA working group on Maintaining essential health services during COVID-19.

Email: miracle.adesina AT