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Social vices: Ondo Govt solicits support for adolescents, young persons

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The Ondo State Government has called for collective support for adolescents and young persons in making the right choices to avoid being lured into social vices.

Mrs Folukemi Aladenola, the Permanent Secretary of the Ondo State Ministry of Health made the call on Wednesday during the Adolescent and Youth Seminar in Akure.

The programme entitled: “Adolescent Mental Health: Managing Depression and Failed Expectations”, is organised by the Department of Family Health of the ministry.

“Every person has a dream and this involves setting goals and these goals drive our passion and energy towards actualisation but for most people including the adolescent, they fail to factor in their plans possible variables that could influence the achievements of their dreams.

“And for adolescent and young people, this is where our experience as adults, as parents, as school, as a society, as government must come in to help.

“Our failure to provide succour and support at this moment of the life course may result in their sourcing solutions by alternative means,” she stated.

Aladenola added that all stakeholders must play their parts in helping the adolescent and young people make their choice and to make the right one.

According to her, the programme will address depression among young people.

The permanent secretary lauded the ministry for the programme meant to ensure the betterment of the state.

She also acknowledged the support of Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to the ministry and for his passion to empower the youth economically and academically in the development of the nation.

The permanent secretary declared the seminar open on behalf of the state Commissioner of Health, Dr Banji Ajaka.

In his lecture, Dr Sunday Sajo explained that the adolescent period is a transitional stage that is characterised by physical and psychological changes.

Sajo, a psychiatric consultant, who noted that the adolescent constituted a large portion of the Nigerian population should be supported in choosing the right and taking the path of productivity.

He tasked parents, governments, teachers and society at large to allow the adolescent to express their feelings and pains and devise means of addressing them for a fruitful society.

In his own contribution, Dr Stephen Fagbemi, Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control in the ministry, urged participants to understand that failure and challenges were parts of life.

Fagbemi added that failure in a particular assignment or area did not connote failure in life.

He urged the adolescent and young people to prioritise their time and bear their minds to trained counselors and their parents, saying that hard work and discipline are good virtues to success.

Dr Isaac Aladeniyi, the Director of Family Health of the ministry, explained that the seminar was organised having seen effects of some levels of failures in responsibilities.

“It is organised because, as a doctor and a ministry, we have seen effects of some levels of failures in our responsibilities as a society, as a home, as a school in these adolescent and young people.

“Of course, everybody faces pressure, but the response to that pressure matters, and for the adolescent and the young people, the ability to respond appropriately is very critical to character formation to the choice of their destinies.

“We think that we need to respond and bring them together and sensitise them, sensitise teachers and you can see that we have online participants as well from FUTA, Ekiti, Ilorin, and Lagos,” he stated.

According to him, the seminar has been able to impact participants optimally, saying that they will be able to adjust and managed failed expectations.

Aladeniyi promised that the seminar would be continuous, adding that participants could be attended to through social media in their questions and concerns.

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