Obinna Peter Ekeleme
My keen interest and desire in working with vulnerable individuals were birthed on the 5th of July 2017 during my first semester final year in my first degree when I was involved in a domestic gas explosion, resulting in third-degree burns that affected 40% of my body including part of my face which affected my self-esteem and worth in a way I have never experienced, this kept me away from school for two years during my recuperating and rehabilitation period, I was vulnerable, depressed, hopeless, ashamed and saw no reason to live due to the hypertrophic scars on my face and body. Nobody could understand how I felt, not even my family or friends and as so, they couldn’t help me. But my journey of healing came when I came in contact with a counsellor, his approach and responses were different, after creating rapport, he asked me three questions; what happened? How did you feel? And what’s the hardest part for you? these questions did magic in me and compelled me to open up and share my pains. As time went on, I was invited to a series of workshops which have tremendously helped in my healing journey, building my self-esteem and viewing life from a different perspective; I now embraced my scars, feel more confident, and happy, built resilience and have finally completed my degree program and also presently working as an English Language Teacher in a High school. In 2019/2020, I began a journey of helping others who are passing through traumatic situations and have experience disability, loss of body parts, loss of loved ones, failed relationships, low self-esteem and self-worthlessness in their lives and family. To serve them better, especially in suicidal thoughts and addiction, I recently purchased some online courses such as Mental Health, Counselling Diploma and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Awareness from Training Express, UK. This has helped me to know more about other mental health illnesses, their causes and symptoms I never knew were mental illnesses, such as; Personality Disorders, Childhood and Adolescent Psychiatric Disorders, Stress and Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia Disorders, Mood Disorders, Eating and Sleeping disorders and Self-harm Suicide. Also, I engaged myself in a few mental health training programs from an NGO in my community known as Africa services in which I have been certified with certificates. I am also a volunteer and I facilitate workshops.