KIU, Western Campus – When one of Treasure Hilary Nassolo’s friends opened up to her early this year that he was struggling with depression and was on anti-depressant medication, she felt touched like she had never before.
“It’s funny how he used to keep telling me and I would take it for a joke until he fully opened up to me,” Nassolo, a third-year Bachelor of Pharmacy Student at KIU Western Campus, says.
“I felt if someone had been there to help such people and give them a platform to express their problems, we could reduce the occurrence of mental illnesses,” she adds.
Depression is a group of conditions associated with a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest leading to a range of behavioural and physical symptoms.
Such people, like Nassolo’s friend, need emotional support to go through their daily lives and this helps alleviate the problem.
Frustrated about her inability to help with her friend’s condition, Nassolo rolled up her sleeves and went to work.
She started by reading books about mental health and trying to understand the condition as much as she could, and of course, her pharmacy background helped a lot in this. She tried to understand what people with mental illnesses go through and how best they can be helped.
“Eventually, armed with the right information, I started sharing mental health-related information on social media and sharing posts that can trigger people to mind their mental health and that of others,” Nassolo, currently staying in Lweza, along Entebbe road during the lockdown, says.
She says she also has contacts of online therapists and because she is not a certified therapist yet, she recommends these therapists to people who are in need of mental health services.
The young mental health advocate has big plans ahead of her in her advocacy work.
“I hope to spread the mental health gospel as much as possible through online campaigns, especially among students and also opening up a YouTube channel called Mind your Mind where people can share their experiences, lessons and advice to others,” the big-dreaming Nassolo says.
And despite challenges like inadequate funds to follow through with her plans, Nassolo is determined to soldier on until the world has as few people with mental illness as possible, in line with her mantra, “Mind your Mind”
Picture credit: Courtesy Photo