By Isaac Animele
Members of the National Association Of Seadogs ( NAS ), Pyrates Confraternity, Vito Corsica Deck, joined the rest of the world humanity groups to marked the World Mental Health Day with a visit to a renowned center, Ayo-Ben Psychiatric Hospital, Agbor in Delta State.
The group, led by their Cap’n, Mr. Oghenekaro Ukavwe said their visitation was to celebrate with the Center inmates marking their day, noting that, the World Health Organisation has set aside October 10 every year as the World Mental Health Day. So their intention was to identify with the inmates as human.
Mr. Ukavwe, disclosed that, research has shown that approximately 450million people currently suffer from some form of mental illness. Which means 1 in 21 persons will have mental illness in their lifetime.
According to Mr. Ukavwe, Mental Health Disorders are illness like any other, which can affect any individual irrespective of his/her status. He appealed to members of the public to stop the stimagination of victims and be helping hands to them.
“Today, we ask that you make a Mental Health promise to Stop the stigmatization of victims and be helpful with anyone suffering from such. If you currently suffer from any form of mental illness, please know that you are not alone in this battle. You can make it through. Seek for help, hold on and hold tight. It is a disorder , not a decision.Together we can win the battle”. Ukavwe stated.
Also speaking, a member of the group, Comrade Abel Johngold, disclosed that there was a mentally imbalance man who parades around the popular West Point pub/joint, along Anwai Road leading to Government House Asaba, that has some strings tied around his body including his genitals.
According to him, ” the strings were obviously tied by the man himself and now he is outgrowing the strings by the day and they are eating deep into his body. Each time you see him, you notice that, he is obviously in great pain, but his mental state won’t let him help himself get the strings off.
He added that, there was something amazing he does, whenever anybody passes by him, he lifts up the rag around his waist and show you his very messed up genitals as if to say “Help me, am dying” he does that without saying a word and will look at you with so much emotions and pains.
Comrade Johngold noted that, the man had strings tied around his head and one of his ears and that is eating deep into his skull, while Strings tied at both forearm are equally eating deep into his skin as well.
While calling on relevant bodies and well meaning Nigerians to come to the man’s aid, Comrade Johngold said he wondered how blood still manages to flow through the man squeezed and by now, very narrow or blocked veins. “He may be a mad man but he certainly needs help. He is too mad to help himself. It our duty as a people and government to help him. The Government Agency responsible for social matters like this should take necessary action, civil society organizations and well meaning Deltans and Nigerians should rise up and save this mad man from the agony”.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ayo-Ben Psychiatric Hospital, Mr Ayo Ben, thanked and commended the National Association Of Seadogs for the wise decision and choice of coming to celebrate with the Center’s inmates.
While conducting members of the group round the Hospital, Ayo Ben disclosed that there are about ninety inmates at various levels of recovery (male and female) in the Center.
He stated that the hospital was in collaboration with the Delta State Government’s decision to put away mentally challenged persons off the streets of the State.
While appealing to Seadogs to help in sensitizing and enlightening the public for assistance, Mr Ayo Ben highlighted the shortage of food and clothing as the major challenges facing the Center.
High point of the occasion was donation of cash, food stuff, toiletries and other relief materials for the inmates by the humanitarian group, Pyrates Confraternity.