LASU medical student receives Diana Award for mental health education

Whatsapp News

By Oluwakemi Oladipo

Lagos – Mr Toluwalashe Soyemi, a fourth year medical student of Lagos State (LASU), has been honoured Diana Award for creating and sustaining positive change in mental health in communities.

Mr Ademola Adekoya, institution’ Head of Centre for Information, Press and Public Relation, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos.

“Soyemi is a hero, who at the age of 18, co-founded Protostar Initiative.

“Protostar Initiative is a youth-led social venture committed to providing mental health education in communities while advocating for destigmatisation of mental health conditions.

“Diana Award established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, is the highest accolade and most prestigious award a young person can for social action or humanitarian efforts.

“After a rigorous , Soyemi was selected alongside 184 recipients 35 countries.

“He is one of the nine Nigerians selected,” Adekoya said.

According to him, Soyemi works local communities to train in mental health first aid and raises in schools and other youth organisations.

“These training sessions dispel common myths and help people to recognise symptoms and access support mechanisms for mental health conditions.

“In view of the international pandemic that has restricted movements, Soyemi and team members have been working on a project that aims to provide mental health services (counselling, therapy etc) to 1,000 people within six months, for free.

“Soyemi is campaigning for a world in which everyone is educated on mental health and where every person a mental health condition can access the support,” he said.

Adekoya said that it was not the first time Soyemi would be putting LASU on the map.

“Last year, he was selected on a fully-funded scholarship to represent Nigeria in Shenzhen, China, for the ‘Unleash Lab’ as a Nation SDG Talent to pitch project on mental health.

“He has got multiple international opportunities in support of project on mental health,” the said.

Tessy Ojo, the Executive Officer of the Diana Award, congratulated all new Diana Award recipients, according to the statemen.

Ojo described them as change makers, hoping that the honour would encourage them to inspire more to actively involved in their communities.

“For over 20 years, Diana Award has valued and invested in , encouraging them to make positive change in their communities and in the lives of others,” Ojo added.