Open Letter to Africans in the US on mental health


Statue of Liberty seen from the Circle Line ferry, Manhattan, New York

Dear African in America, yesterday one of us attempted suicide, I rushed to her side and I have just been informed that she succeeded albeit a day late. America is a lonely place. We all tend to live with our people, hang out with our people and strive to live by the norms of our people. This can be suffocating to people with certain personalities. The notion that Africans don’t get depressed and therefore don’t need therapy is inaccurate.

Luckily for us (in America), we have access to counselling services and I urge you all to take advantage, encourage your kin and friends to do it. This is not the first suicidal death due to loneliness and incapability to adapt but we can make it the last. Stop counselling one another while drunk and backbite each other while sober. In the true spirit of Ubuntu, let us build a community that cares enough not how much better Nigerians are than Kenyans or how well off you are compared to your ‘poor’ friend. Let us build a community full of compassion and love. We are all struggling in this journey, let us endeavour make it bearable for other souls we meet along the way.

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