An online Mental Health Campaign to promote Mental Health during the African cup of Nations (afcon2021) and beyond in Africa : Football For Mental Health!

9 January, 2022

Dear All,

Cameroon is hosting the African Cup Of Nations. It will start today, 9th January and it will end on the 6th of Ferbruary 2022.

The organisation of this African cup is unique in the history of football on the African continent as a result of the health emergencies due to Covid 19 and underaddressed, underrecognized climate disaster.

Both the COVID19 and the climate disaster are having a still to be determined magnitude but negative effects on the Mental health of populations globally and in Africa specifically are already perceptible.

Unfortunately, many African countries due to structural and economical reasons still have difficulties prioritizing mental health as an important aspect of population health and wellbeing. This could also imply that (mental) health promotion and mental illness prevention or reduction strategies are seriously dysfunctional. Moreover, Africa carries about 80 percent of the global mental issue burden. There is need to act!

Whereas there is mounting evidence in support of the role that reliable and accurate Mental health information has in health behaviour, through informed decision making and informed choices as well as improved health outcomes.

The availability of and accessibility to mental health information might be enhanced through digital platforms. Just like the HIFA discussion platform.

Football for Mental health (hashtag#football4mentalhealth) is the name of my campaign and aims at using football to promote mental health. Africans and Cameroonians in General love football. I thus beleive that greater awareness to health care information and mental health care information can easily be made possible for all during this game.

Kindly use the hashtag #football4mentalhealth to engage in the campaign. Thanks.

Wishing all Africa a great African Cup of Nations.

Best Wishes,

Didier Demassosso

HIFA Country Representative Coordinator Afro Region

Mental Health Innovation Network Africa Knowledge Exchange Assistant

HIFA profile: Didier Demassosso is a mental health practitioner, Consultant (WHO , MoPH Cameroon...), Mental health advocate , Youth advocate with 10 years experience in mental health development in Cameroon. He is also a health communicator and educationist. HIFA Country Representative For Cameroon/ HIFA Country Representative of the year 2014 / Regional Coordinator for Africa. He also currently volunteers for the Mental Health Innovation Network Africa as Knowledge Exchange Assistant.

Email: didier.demassosso AT