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The Creative & Mental Health | Interview with Amanda Iheme

AKANNI:

Now on Nd!d!, You quit different organizations for the sake of your own dreams in a world where people are stuck in routines. Like they are doing right now just because they are scared of the unknown. How did you really deal with that, it must have had some questionable thoughts in the beginning. How did you cope with those?

AMANDA:

How I dealt with it was to be realistic and honest with myself about the feasibility of what it was that I wanted to do, identified what factors presented before me were within my control and what wasn’t. For those I could control, I gave it my best and that was in making sure that I branded myself well and I did a bloody good job with every client I met while respecting myself. I also surrounded myself with people who were entrepreneurs and were working with the same level of honesty and fairness that I was working with. That was helpful. Lastly, I believed the f**k out of myself and my work. I was told that no one would ever pay for therapy in Nigeria but I knew that if I needed a good shrink when I struggled with depression someone else does and I am going to work for those I know do.

AKANNI:

You run this care center if I may call it that, which arouses my curiosity about the general publics view to centers like yours and what you do for the community as in the role you play in the larger society?

AMANDA

I cannot tell what the general public’s view of my work is but from those I have had conversations with about my work, there are feelings of confusion about therapy and reluctance to see a therapy. I know that it is motivated by lack of information, fear and shame so what I do during such conversations is educate people and make them feel safe and accepted enough to even think of opening up to someone about their struggles. For the community, I know that a major problem that people have is affording therapy. It is quite expensive so I partner with mental health NGOs to provide free therapy sessions or therapy at a reduced rate, free group therapy sessions and even offer free sessions from my practice monthly.

AKANNI:

Mental health conciousness is coming into limelight right now what role would you ask millennials to play as regards their mental health and those of the people surrounding them?

AMANDA:

Don’t just talk about mental health, practice it. Adopt healthy life practices such as thinking through your thoughts, opening up to people who truly love and care about you, be nice to yourself and most importantly, be nice to others. Be compassionate, considerate, kind and forgiving to yourself and others.

AKANNI:

This has been really awesome! so one last question to bring this to an end. If you could give your younger self some self-care tips what would you ask of you?

AMANDA:

Write, hunnay! Write it all out and remember to tell yourself every day that you are beautiful, you are worthy of good love. Do everything that you like (you did anyway).


Photos gotten from Amanda's IG & ND!D!'s IG
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