by Adewale Alabi
The #EndSWAT protests in Nigeria is taking quite a lot of twists and turns. It is now seven days since the protests began and many youth have indeed shown their desire for change and have taken an active part in the protests.
It is, however, pertinent to note that many protesters may experience fatigue eventually, either physically or mentally and these need to be attended to. In as much as people who have been injured at protests get medical care and others get deserved rests now and then, many groups helping out have not really considered the impact of the protests on the mental health of the people involved.
For example, people who experienced physical assaults may end up developing anxiety attacks or other attributes that are connected to their mental health. One organisation has taken note of this and has stepped up to the plate by taking time out to address the issue of mental health in connection to the protests.
Mentally Aware Nigeria has put its foot forward to provide mental health assistance to protesters through their ‘Panic cards’ that will guide protesters on what to do when they have a panic attack or when someone close to them does. The panic cards are going to be shared on protest grounds that the group can get to. They have also called on anyone who can help spread the cards to reach out so that it can get to more people.
This is the first time any group is paying attention to the mental health of the protesters since the protests began and is definitely a step in the right direction. Responding to their announcement twitter user @maxugoski wrote;
“This is a lovely piece of info.. early this year I had my very first panic attack…it was so frightening I thought I was having a heart attack..at a point I was afraid I thought was about to die..I couldn’t explain what was happening but somehow I got through it”.
This is lovely piece of info.. early this year I had my very first panic attack…it was so frightening I thought I was having a heart attack..at a point I was afraid I thought was about to die..I couldn't explain what was happening but somehow I got through it✊
— They Call Me Ugoski (@maxugoski) October 14, 2020