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WRAHP hosts one-day mental well-being clinic for SGBV service providers in Lagos

In a proactive effort to address the mental health challenges faced by frontline responders in the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), the Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP) recently organized a one-day event titled “Sustaining the Soul that Serves: A One-Day Mental Well-Being Clinic/Retreat for GBV Service Providers” in Lagos State.

The event, held at Lekki, Lagos, brought together staff members from organizations involved in providing SGBV response, as well as identified stakeholders from the Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria (WVL-Nigeria) project and ActionAid Nigeria (AAN).

In a statement issued to newsmen at the event, Bose Ironsi, Executive Director of WRAHP, highlighted the overarching objective of the intervention, stating, “The primary goal of this initiative is to enhance the mental health and overall well-being of SGBV service providers, thereby increasing their effectiveness and job satisfaction.”

She emphasized the importance of fostering a sustainable culture of self-care and mutual support within the SGBV sector to ensure the continued success of these vital organizations in Nigeria.

The project aimed to address prevalent issues such as burnout, compassion fatigue, and other mental health challenges encountered by individuals working in the SGBV sector. Given the emotionally demanding nature of their roles and frequent exposure to traumatic incidents, staff members often require support to maintain their well-being.

Dr. Gbolahan Pillot, Dr. Nwonu-Ezeanya Immaculata, and Dr. Kemi Akintoyese, three psychologists, led sessions aimed at building resilience, teaching coping strategies, and providing tailored counseling to address the unique needs of SGBV service providers.

Dr. Pillot emphasized the emotional toll of providing SGBV services, highlighting the risks of empathic fatigue, vicarious trauma, and overwhelming caseloads.

Participants were educated on recognizing signs of burnout and compassion fatigue, along with strategies for self-awareness and various forms of self-care.

Dr. Nwonu-Ezeanya Immaculata focused on building resilience and understanding personal limits, encouraging participants to recognize their breaking points and adopt coping strategies to manage stress effectively.

Dr. Kemi Akintoyese facilitated a breathing exercise session, emphasizing the importance of applying coping skills in daily practice to promote well-being.

The event, funded by Global Affairs Canada through ActionAid Nigeria, underscored the critical importance of prioritizing the mental health and well-being of SGBV service providers to ensure effective service delivery and sustained impact in addressing gender-based violence.

Through collaborative efforts and targeted interventions like this, WRAHP continues to champion the cause of women’s rights, promote community well-being, and combat SGBV in Nigeria.

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