ARFH Demonstrates Inclusiveness with Support from USAID: Trains Staff of Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MH/PSS)

As part of efforts to ensure diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA), the Association for Reproductive and Family Health through the USAID funded Integrated Child Health and Social Services Award (ICHSSA-2) project trained 20 staff of the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA). The two-day training took place at the ICHSSA-2 project office in Lagos between March 19 and 20, 2024, and was facilitated by seasoned Mental Health trainers, Dr. Stellamarris Moronkeji and Dr. Ayokanmi Mobereade of ICHSSA 2 Project. The purpose of the training was to raise awareness, stimulate dialogue and inspire action towards enhancing mental health and psychosocial

support for Persons Living with Disability (PWD) in Lagos State. People with disabilities frequently confront major obstacles linked to mental health and psychosocial well-being, despite advancements in awareness and media sensitization.

According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 8 persons worldwide suffer from a mental illness, and in the last ten years alone, there has been a 13% increase in both substance abuse and mental illnesses.

In his speech, Dr. Felix Iwuala, Chief of Party, ICHSSA-2 Project, outlined the main objectives of the project, one of which is increase the government’s ability to care for the vulnerable group who are at risk of abuse and discrimination. He emphasized that everyone’s mental health is a common denominator, and ARFH will keep advocating for partnerships of this nature in addition to initiatives that support diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. The ARFH ICHSSA-2 office is already set up to be inclusive of PWDs and easy accessibility for all PWD, with support from USAID.

Also speaking, the General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), Mrs. Adenike Oyetunde-Lawal, paid glowing tribute to ARFH and USAID, for their thoughtfulness and excellent conduct of the training. She underscored PWDs need for this kind of training in order to live healthy lives and realize their full potentials. LASODA is always up for a fruitful partnership like this. Mrs. Oyetunde-Lawal said.

This training has increased my understanding of mental health. I promise to step it down for other PWDs within my community”. Mr Kelani Akeem.

ARFH and LASODA signed an agreement on areas of shared interest in order to guarantee the partnership’s sustainability. ARFH is known for exploring strategic collaboration with both Government and relevant stakeholders to drive high impact programs for improved health and well-being of individuals and families in Africa.



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