Psychosocial support is an overall interaction between the mind and the environment. Nevertheless, the forgoing insurgency in northeastern Nigeria has led to destruction of lives and properties rendering the inhabitants homeless. Most of the affected populace is staying in IDP Camps in different designated areas across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states while some flee across Nigeria border and are staying in refugee camps in other countries near Nigeria. In emergency settings, the rate of common mental disorders can double. Gender based violence, abductions, and gross atrocities can trigger psychological problems which take years to heal.
According to NEMA and IOM data analysis of January 2020, the numerical figures of Internal Displaced People (IDP) population is 2,035,232. This figure has excluded the number of communities who recently fled from their homes as the attack has continued thereby increasing the pre-existing refugee population across the northeast. The biggest victims of this ugly situation are children whom most of them are unable to help themselves during the plight. The population of the most affected such as people of Borno state has continued to experience persistent violence attack. The people have been subjected to serious human rights violations by the Non State Armed Group (NSAG ). The ongoing upsurge has led to different human right violations and atrocities in the region such as abductions, sexual abuse, forced marriage, beheading of one’s parent, witnessing grave violence to other family members, and children forced into armed group.
The children displaced are malnourished, suffer direct injury, and experience periodic grave violations such as killing and maiming, attack on schools and hospitals, abduction and forced recruitment into armed groups. These have made the children to live in fear of the unknown due to the exposure to violence. The entire situation can lead to nervous breakdown. These are characterized with internalization of violence, exhibition of strange behavior, numbing, fear, and avoidance, consistent recurring of flashbacks, bitterness and other psychological health problems which may impact the health of the children in the long – run. The childhood effect of being a direct victim of terrorist attacks could be devastating and long lasting with permanent psychological problem spanning from birth to adolescence and to the adulthood these direct exposure of children to violence impairs their psychological wellbeing emotionally and cognitively.
It is pertinent to know that the failure to provide effective psychological support to children exposed to the insurgency endangers their mental health and reduces the opportunities of these children to live a productive life. Children affected by terrorism suffer poor assimilation and weaker school or academic performance. Hence, exposure to terrorism causes poor concentration problems and low cognitive capacity in children. Adversely, if it is not handled properly, it may lead to permanent mental health illnesses.
In quick response to mitigate the above psychological problems, CHAD engages the children in various life skills and resilience programs to address the acute fear, distrust and other mental health challenges resulting from the crises. Our psychosocial support (PSS) activities are well structured and well designed to provide resilience and recovery as well to address the psychosocial effects of terrorism on Nigerian children and others who maybe in need of CHAD’s Psychosocial Support services.
We engage children in life skills activities. Life skills are behaviors that enable individuals to adopt and deal effectively with the demands and challenges of life. CHAD’s tailored the steps set up by the WHO to conduct their life skills.
- Critical thinking
- Creative thinking
- Decision making
- Problem Solving
- Effective communication
- Interpersonal relationship
- Coping with stress
- Coping with emotions