While she is the only female recipient out of three Nigerians who recently received the Queen Elizabeth Young Leaders Award dedicated to celebrating the achievements of some of the most exciting young change-makers in the Commonwealth nations, Hauwa Ojeifo is also passionate about creating awareness for mental health in Nigeria.
Using her platform SheWritesWoman to give mental illness a voice in Nigeria, Hauwa says the initiative was birthed after she was diagnosed with bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) coupled with psychosis and suicidal idealisations.
Hauwa who reveals that right from a young age she had always wanted to make a positive impact in the world says, her platform preaches love, hope and gives support to women living with mental disorders in Nigeria. While addressing Nigeria’s major health care challenge, she discloses that most Nigerian mental care institutions are underfunded and as such are incapable of providing quality mental health care services to its patients.
For her, a major achievement for her platform is that it initiated the first-ever privately-held 24/7 mental health helpline in Nigeria which served as the first point of call for mental health first aid, information, finding mental health care services in your neighbourhood, learning caring tips for loved ones living with mental health challenges and referrals to mental health professionals.
As for future plans, Hauwa hopes that her platform touches thousands of lives positively and also plans to start monthly support groups in different states in Nigeria.