To incorporate mental health education and support into the SKILLZ program, key stakeholders in adolescent health, education, youth, and social development gathered for two days at a workshop hosted by YEDI and its partners, Grassroot Soccer, ExxonMobil, and Common Goal.

In her welcome speech, Tomisin Adeoye, the executive director of YEDI, expressed excitement for the session, stating that “the curriculum review workshop was held to integrate mental health education into the SKILLZ programme for the benefit of our young people and to achieve this, relevant stakeholders, individuals, the government, and their institutions will contribute and work together.”

Representatives from the Lagos State Office for Health, Education, Youth and social development, Disabilities (LASODA), and the Domestic and Social Violence Agency, other NGOS, community leaders, religious leader, parents, adolescents both in school and out of school were present to share their expectations for the workshop. They all agreed that this is a chance to have a realistic discussion about ways to enhance the mental health of adolescents in Nigeria.

Dr. Babatunde from Grassroot Soccer gave a presentation on the organization’s background, areas of influence, and partnership with YEDI to reach adolescents in Nigeria using evidence-based SKILLZ initiatives. He also introduced participants to the SKILLZ 4-2-1 game, which allows users to access health information through their mobile phones, by dialling the toll-free number.

Charmaine Nyakonda, a mental health specialist with Grassroot Soccer, facilitated the workshop. To Integrate Mental Health to the SKILLZ Curriculum in Nigeria, Charmaine used her session to help participants come up with practical ideas and tactics.

Through his presentation, Usen Assanga, YEDI’s program manager, described the effects the SKILLZ program is having on several adolescents in Nigeria. He emphasized that the session is being held so that YEDI can involve all relevant parties in creating a SKILLZ curriculum that would effectively address adolescent mental health.