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Research suggests that mental illness is a result of abnormalities in how particular brain circuits function. We can therefore re-imagine mental health as brain health. Understanding this biological and neurological basis of mental health issues can help decrease stigma and encourage the utilisation of available mental health services

Mental health

/ˈmɛnt(ə)l ˈhɛlθ/ 

"a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community" - WHO



19% of disabilities in Africa

Mental health conditions account for 19% of all disability in Africa yet the mental health workforce in Africa is lower than in any other WHO region.

70% can be treated

70 percent of mental health problems like depression, (including disorders) can be treated by trained doctors and nurses with adequate supervision and support.

85% have no access to resources

However, due to the lack of investment in related services, 85% of people suffering from depression on the continent have no access to an effective treatment.

24% no reporting mechanisms

The WHO Mental Health Atlas also highlights that 24% of countries in Africa have no active reporting mechanisms in place for monitoring mental health indicators.

Are you experiencing any mental health problems, or do you need a mental health check? Below is a list of mental health services available in Botswana, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

Services in Botswana

+267 72 247 915 

+267 393 4884

+267 71 486 059

Vonile Tladi

+267 74 355 133

+267 73 005 964

+267 71 371  924


+267 3165 045

Botswana Network for

Mental Health

+267 72 866 843

+267 77 143 896

+267 75 893 490

17270 (Toll Free)

Services in South Africa

011 728 1347

Lifeline offers 24-hour, 365 days a year telephone counselling, face-to-face appointments with a counsellor at Lifeline centres, trauma interventions and more. They have branches in Soweto, Alexandra and Norwood.

+27 82619 7139

+27 31 329 1220

Nozi Nyawose is a clinical Psychologist registered with the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA). She currently is involved in media, (radio and tv), providing psychological services and intervention.

079 772 1950

Dr Siya is a therapist and wellness coach based in Capetown. She provides medical aid-claimable services, including trauma interventions and counselling for anxiety and depression.

0800 567 567

SADAG manages a 16-line counselling-and-referral call centre, and is the voice of patient advocacy, working in urban, peri-urban, and most rural communities across South Africa. They have a 24/7 suicide crisis helpline.

Services in Nigeria

Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI)


MANI is a non-profit organization that raises awareness on mental health and illnesses. The organisation also works to connect service users to mental health professionals.




Shine Onyebuchi is a licensed clinical psychologist based in Abuja. She has years of experience in mental health assessment & intervention for several life management concerns.


This is a mental health organisation based in Lagos. The organisation has professional mental health specialists offering counselling, psychological evaluations and training.


Dr Oyebola is a Clinical Psychologist registered with the American Psychological Association. He has experience in the treatment of psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and addiction.

Services in Kenya

020 2726300

This hospital has a mental health department offering services in child psychiatry, Psychosocial and occupational therapy, HIV counselling and many more. This hospital is the oldest in Kenya and is located in Nairobi.


Oasis Health offer outpatient and inpatient mental health services such as psychotherapy, group therapy, Neuropsychology and many more. This mental health care facility is located in Nairobi (Peponi Road Westlands).



  1. 4-7-8  breathing exercise - This technique helps aid relaxation by triggering your parasympathetic nervous system. To use it, breath in for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds.

  2. The 54321 method - This is a common grounding technique that you can use if you're having an anxiety attack. (This technique is all about engaging your 5 senses.)

  • identify 5 things you can see

  • 4 things you can feel

  • acknowledge 3 things you can hear

  • 2 things you can smell

  • 1 thing you can taste


  1. Stay physically active - Something small like a  walk or a workout can take your mind off stress and it keeps you healthy.

  2. Improve your sleep hygiene - A healthy sleep is important to both your physical and mental health. A good sleep hygiene include being consistent with your sleep schedule, and  following a relaxing nightly routine.

  3. Unplug - Limit the time you spend on social media or checking the news.

  4. Dont be afraid to ask for help - If you notice yourself struggling, Utilise available mental health services or speak to a friend.

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