Nigerian swimmer raises mental health awareness by swimming length of Lagos’ longest bridge

Nigerian swimmer Akinrodoye Samuel tried to raise awareness of mental health in Africa’s most populous nation by swimming nearly 7.45 miles, the length of the longest bridge where many people have jumped to their deaths. Samuel, a swimming coach, said he was moved by the experience of a friend who nearly took his own life due to depression. A 2021 UNICEF report showed one in six Nigerians aged between 15 and 24 were depressed, anxious or had other . Medical professionals say the stigma associated with mental health in Nigeria’s culturally conservative society makes it difficult for people to open up. “We are doing this too, so people don’t just think that suicide is the next option,” Samuel told Reuters after finishing the swim in the Lagos Lagoon on Saturday.

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