Shindara bags Mental Health Awareness Advocate Recognition Award


The Maiden Mental Health Conference organized by renowned psychiatrist and therapist, Dr. Maymunah Yusuf-Kadiri has honoured Shindara Ibiyemi with  the award of Mental Health Awareness Advocate of the Year. The recognition award ceremony took place on 19th of March 2023 at Oriental Hotel Victoria Island, Lagos during the maiden Maiden Mental Health Conference.

The event with the  theme, ‘The Mind Behind the Mask,’ charted a realistic course towards creating awareness and educating the public on mental health issues.

The event featured panel sessions with notable key industry leaders and mental health ambassadors, an on-site therapy session (Lounge) with licensed therapists and psychiatrists. This also witnessed an intensive mental health assessment test, an on-site medical consultation with licensed medical professionals, an award for non-governmental organisations that have made impactful strides with the awareness for mental health and individuals who have thrived and triumphed in the Mental health space.

Dr. Maymunah Yusuf-Kadiri noted that the award for Shindara was approved in recognition of her tireless efforts, outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the mental healthcare industry.

Ibiyemi Shindara one of the award Recipients is a Mental Health Advocate who has been battling series of mental illness since she was 13.  While recieving the award, she said, “I want to thank everyone that has been supporting me on this journey, I started battling series of mental issues at age 13 and I’m currently 17. I know how it has caused me to defer my study at the University twice.”

According to her,  the support from her parent and God have been amazing.

“People have supported me. I have seen people reach out to me to appreciate   my open struggle and passion for mental health  advocacy,” she said.

Other recipients of the recognition award include Anthonia Ojenagbon, Olumide Akpan, Jane Michael and Adedamola Adejobi.

In appreciation of the recognition award, the father of Shindara Dr Samuel Ibiyemi cautioned parents against early education of their children particularly on  science courses that will put pressure on the brain.

He expressed joy and advised parents to have hope  in God and  adequate medical attention for  recovery of children suffering from mental health challenges.

“We should show love to support people with mental health challenges like  patients suffering from malaria to enhance quick healing,” he noted.

Factors affecting a child’s mental health condition

During childhood, several things can impact a child’s mental health. These can include genetic factors (family history of mental illness), environmental factors (exposure to trauma or abuse), and stress (from schools or family issues). It’s important to note that not all children who experience these factors will go on to develop mental health issues. However, these factors can increase a child’s risk.

However, some risk factors can have a serious impact on a child’s mental health. Let’s take a look at the five major factors that can affect a child’s mental health, how each factor can impact a child’s development, and ways to help children thrive despite these factors:

  1. Family history of mental illness: If there is a family history of mental illness, a child is more likely to develop mental health problems. This is due to both genetic and environmental factors.
  2. School Environment: Elementary school children face problems like academic performance or getting on track with the school routine.
  3. Exposure to trauma: Children who have experienced traumatic events are more likely to develop mental health problems. Traumatic events can include abuse, neglect, witnessing violence, sexual abuse, or losing a loved one.
  4. Brain chemistry: Mental health problems can be caused by imbalances in the brain chemicals that help regulate mood and behavior.
  5. Life stressors: Things like poverty, bullying, or divorce can lead to mental health problems in children.
  6. Parenting style: The way parents interact with their children can impact their mental health. For example, if parents are overly critical or authoritarian, their children are more likely to develop mental health problems.