Overview of our current projects

Reconnect Health Development Initiative, through hard work and nonstop dedication have successfully conceptualised, developed and implemented several programs that benefit both affected individuals and the wider population. We learn from experiences and evidence base researches to enable us address the evolving diverse needs of our target population.

ABOUT PEOPLE LIKE YOU (APLY)

APLY is a campaign that targets educational institutions as well as youth prevalent organizations and workplaces to allow for discussions on psychological issues that they might be facing. Central to APLY are the issues of drug abuse and sexual abuse. The vision of APLY program is “healthy individuals, families and communities free of substance abuse, sexual abuse and other associated risks through treatment, empowerment and awareness approaches.  

APLY program activities are based on three strategic objectives:

  • To provide quality substance abuse prevention and treatment services
  •  To create awareness about sexual abuse and empower affected individuals to speak out
  •  To provide information and support for other mental health issues

NATIONAL HELPLINE

Due to poor knowledge of mental health issues, associated stigma and poor knowledge of available mental health services in most developing countries, people in mental distress may not seek help. Families and loved ones may also be afraid to provide adequate support due to shame and fear of stigmatisation.

The brain behind the establishment of National Helpline was the discovery of a silent social problem in our country called “Suicide”. Even with the underreported statistics, several reports on deaths by suicide in Nigeria have gradually scaled to a very disturbing trend.

Underlying mental disorders such as Depression, Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse all play significant roles in triggering suicidal thoughts. According to experts, Depression is the most common reason why people take their lives. Evident from some suicidal notes, people who have died by suicide indicated that they had no one else to talk to about their problems; someone who would listen to them without stigmatization and prejudice. This helpline is intended to provide the first line of support for people in mental distress and their families.

SUBSIDIZED TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION PROGRAM

In most parts of Africa, the existent gaps in mental health are filled by traditional, spiritual and faith healing practices. These sectors are usually the first line of contact for the treatment of mental illnesses either because they are readily available, easily accessible, relatively cheap, or have been accepted by most communities as competent. In addition to stigmatization, the high cost of treatment and inadequate medical services deter people from seeking professional help for the management of mental illnesses.

While mental health care is important, it is equally vital that it is made accessible and affordable people the affected population and their families. STRP bridges this service gap by subsidizing the cost of treatment & rehabilitation for the mentally ill and substance abusers.

PSYCHOSOCIAL INTERVENTION FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS

Evidence base reports have shown that there is a higher prevalence of mental illness amongst PLWHA compared with the general population, and people affected by mental illnesses are at greater risk of HIV infection. Depression is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder amongst this population. Comorbidity in PLWHA could affect adherence to ART leading to poorer health outcomes or engagement in unsafe sex- both scenarios in which the risk of onward HIV transmission to other people is increased.

It is crucial for Mental health assessment and care to be incorporated in the intervention strategies for PLWHA as It is particularly important to treat the underlying mental illness. Psychosocial support is therefore critical for addressing the ongoing psychosocial and social problems of HIV infected individuals, couples, and families.

RECONNECT SUPPORT SERVICES

The presence of a serious mental health or addiction problem can have significant consequences for all family members either by virtue of being a caregiver or simply by being a family member. Families and loved ones react and cope in different ways at the various stages of mental health or addiction problem. These reactions could have considerable impacts on their health, social relations and financial situation. In most cases, these issues surface because affected relatives are usually ill-prepared and may lack adequate information regarding the problem and treatment options. Families’ reaction to an affected loved one has a big impact on their well-being and recovery as their behaviours can exacerbate the symptoms, and create misconceptions. Educating families about the illnesses their loved ones may be suffering is the foundation of support. It is therefore paramount that all involved receive the appropriate orientation and support. RSS brings families of people with mental health challenges and substance abuse problems together to get educated and also share coping strategies through family-to-family educational programs.

CLUB 14

Long term recovery for substance addiction is often an on-going and lifelong process. Clinical research indicates that mutual aid substance addiction support groups play critical roles in achieving and maintaining a life of sobriety as they can be an invaluable source of guidance, assistance, and encouragement. Participants come together to connect with other members who know first-hand what they might be going through thus reducing the chances of developing negative feelings and attitudes. The majority of treatment programs do not offer recovery support after rehabilitation. Club 14 provides this platform for addicts and recovering addicts to serve as a safe place to get support, understanding, learn coping skills and discuss challenges – all part of the journey to a lifelong sobriety

REHABILITATION FOR MENTALLY ILL LAW OFFENDERS IN PRISONS/POLICE CUSTODY

The lack of widespread application of diversion programs such as mental health at the core of the criminal justice process had led to the increasing number of incarcerated mentally ill people in prisons. Owing to the mental impact of incarceration on law offenders, majority develop several forms of mental illnesses that progress further if they do not get professional help. At the back end, a large percentage of them re-enter prisons within a short time frame of release due to inadequate treatment and rehabilitation prior to and after release. This program includes a myriad of treatment, educational and supportive services to help mentally ill offenders achieve improved functioning.

DRUG REHABILITATION FOR DRUG DEPENDENT COMMERCIAL SEX WORKERS 

There is a vicious cycle that exists in the commercial sex work trade. Substance addiction can lead to commercial sex working as addicts use this means as a measure for scoring drug money to feed their addiction. Some use drugs to numb themselves in order to continue working. Others are often illegally trafficked and forced into drug use to lower their resistance to commercial sex work. In all, substance addiction plays a vital role in these scenarios. Drug rehabilitation for commercial sex workers could help to break the cycle and give hope to make more informed choices.

A look at mental health across Africa