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SOSG, Plan Int’l roll-out mental health support toll-free helpline

 Inauguration of Toll-free Helpline for Adolescent on Mental Health and Psycho-social support


By Muhammad Nasir


Sokoto Feb. 24, 2024

The Sokoto State Government, in collaboration with an NGO,  Plan International, funded by Global Affairs Canada, on Saturday rolled-out a toll-free helpline for mental health and psycho-social support targeted at adolescents in the state.

Hajiya Asabe Balarabe, the State Commissioner of Health, emphasised that the initiative was part of the “Aspire Project” by the NGO to address the prevalent mental health challenges, particularly exacerbated by the current economic hardships.

Balarabe, represented by Dr Abdulganiyu Yusuf, Director of Public Health in the ministry, reiterated the government’s commitment to implementing measures in all health facilities across the state.

“These include training and retraining of personnel to ensure mental health services are available in all Primary Health Care Centers in Sokoto State,” she said.

Expressing gratitude to Plan International for its support, the commissioner assured sustained government’s backing for all the project’s activities, underscoring its dedication to societal well-being.

Mr. Camillus Ogba, Health, Mental Health and Psycho-social Support Officer of the organisation said the event was aimed at promoting proper mental health among adolescents.

He stressed the importance of providing support to individuals facing mental health and psycho-social challenges by connecting them with the professionals.

Ogba stated that the toll-free helpline would provide  the citizens with a vital resource for addressing mental health challenges in Sokoto state.

He said that the project’s duration was five years, covering all the 23 local government areas of the state.

Ohba encouraged the citizens to utilise the helpline to combat mental health and psycho-social challenges, striving for a healthier society.

Dr Raphael Aworinde, Senior Health Coordinator at Plan International, explained that the Aspire Project addresses various adolescent issues.

“The initiative is in order to address the menace of sexual violence, unsafe abortion, child marriage, pregnancy complications, childbirth, HIV, and female genital mutilation among other violations,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the toll-free helpline for mental health and psycho-social support is 08002200101.

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