Remember when I said the past few weeks in Lagos have been uneventful?
I was even thankful for the relative peace and quiet we have enjoyed. I didn’t know that the peace I was so happy about was because of the hardship that has taken over the streets of Lagos. Sure, there are those still balling and chopping life even in this dry weather, and that’s fine.
I don’t have beef for them. But if they know where the money is, an announcement would be nice so that we can all share from it. Or, as the people on social media will say, they should “cut soap” for us.
Joking aside, Lagosians are finding it difficult to smile as the days go by. Cost of living is increasing daily. Prices of food items in the market keep skyrocketing and utility bills are a bunch of numbers that just don’t make any sense.
People are going from their beds to the grind and back to bed if they have the time. There’s almost no time to focus on anything more than to keep the wheel going. No time to stop by the hospital to check that constant headache. No time to call family and loved ones on their birthdays or just to say hello. In fact, no time to take time off except for the weekend trips to a church where they scream “amen” in hopes for a miracle that will change their lives finally.
No time to breathe and just be.
Most importantly, in Lagos, there is no time to consider the damage all the stress and societal dysfunction is causing to our mental health. Mental health management is a topic we are never ready for. However, we must discuss it without relenting because it’s very important.
While I won’t start talking about how many Lagosians require mandatory therapy sessions now; I think it’s important to start with the basics. Start by asking somebody how they are doing and genuinely pause to listen. You don’t know what a few minutes of your time can do for a person in need of a break.
I know it’s easy to ask somebody how they’re doing and expect to hear they’re fine so that you can move on. But by giving somebody a listening ear to cry into or a shoulder to lean on; you might be saving a life.
Positive mental health is such an important part of who we are as a people.
Please check on somebody today.