In line with its commitment to promote mental health wellness, one of Nigeria’s telecom companies, 9mobile has called for improved awareness on the impact of loneliness on mental health. The telco brand made the call at the 5th edition of its health talk series to mark this year’s global mental health awareness week.
Titled, “Loneliness and Mental Health”, the virtual session, featured Dr. Egemba Chionanso Fidelis, a certified medical doctor, writer, vlogger, and public speaker, popularly known as Aproko Doctor on social media.
In his presentation, Dr. Egemba remarked that “loneliness is a bodily function and interestingly, human beings have come to realize the need to survive in groups. Therefore, loneliness can set in when the social interaction needs of an individual are not met. He emphasized that there is a difference between ‘loneliness’ and ‘being alone, adding that though the terms sound similar they are totally different. Loneliness is a bodily function while being alone is a state of the mind.”
Mental health conditions, he stated, can lead to loneliness while loneliness can also lead to mental health conditions and vice versa. According to Egemba, no pinpoint cause has been traced to loneliness. However, a certain group of people was identified as being susceptible to loneliness which is people who overly keep to themselves otherwise called introverts.
Speaking further, Egemba identified two types of loneliness, acute and chronic. Acute loneliness usually occurs suddenly and is temporal, while chronic loneliness can affect both the mental and physical health of an individual and usually last longer.
Commenting on the session, Executive Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, 9mobile, Abdulrahman Ado stated that sound mental health is critical to the overall wellbeing of an individual. He said, “Mental health is one issue that needs to constantly be on the health front burner because of its impact on human lives. As a customer-centric brand that cares about the wellbeing of Nigerians, we are doing what we can to increase awareness through advocacy and ensure that the conversation around mental health is sustained, hence the need for the 9mobile Health Talk Series. This time around we chose to look at the nexus between loneliness and mental health which the facilitator dealt with robustly.”
The mental health awareness week is designed to drive conversation around mental health challenges and how to address it in the best interest and well-being of society.