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NAFOWA should prioritise their mental health

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Balancing family, household duties, and their husbands' jobs is essential.

During the Mental Health Awareness Walk and Talk event organised by the Nigerian Air Force Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA) in Abuja, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, the First Lady, emphasised the importance of prioritising mental health for wives of NAF officers and airmen while managing their household duties. This advice was given during the NAF@60 2024 celebration. Hajiya Aisha Matawalle, the wife of the Minister of State for Defence, acted as her representative at the event.

While the event focused on the theme “Step by step Embracing Mental Wellness Through Movement”, the First Lady highlighted the challenges faced by spouses of law enforcement personnel in balancing family responsibilities, household duties, and the unpredictability of their husbands’ jobs. She emphasised the importance of prioritising their own well-being amidst these demands and taking intentional steps to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Engaging in consistent physical activity goes beyond simply boosting one’s body and increasing one’s vitality. It is also a valuable resource for maintaining good mental health.

The officer’s wife contributes to the betterment of the community.

Focusing on their own health and happiness is not only important for their individual well-being but also for their effectiveness as partners, parents, and examples for others. When they prioritise self-care, they are better equipped to face life’s obstacles with strength and spread positivity that inspires those in their lives. Caring for ourselves is not self-centred, it is necessary for overall wellness, she remarked. Tinubu extended his best wishes to the NAF for reaching 60 years of unwavering commitment to safeguarding the nation’s airspace and upholding national defence.

She highlighted the importance of the wives of NAF personnel and NAFOWA, emphasising their role as unsung champions who provide unwavering support to their families, prioritise the Welfare of their spouses, and contribute to the betterment of the community. it is important for officers’ wives also to seek professional help and support when needed. Accessing therapy, counselling, or mental health resources can provide valuable tools and strategies for managing stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Physical fitness is essential for enhancing health condition.

Mrs. Rakiya Abubakar, the President of NAFOWA and spouse of the Air Chief, emphasised the importance of mental health awareness at the event. She highlighted the significance of fostering discussions about mental health and promoting overall well-being through physical fitness. In addition, she mentioned that the event was a way to honour the 60th Anniversary of NAF. She emphasised the importance of prioritising their wellness, stating that the association felt it important to stress these aspects.

Also, she emphasised the influence it has on their personal connections, jobs, and daily routines, noting that it is still a topic that lacks proper attention and recognition in the society. Taking a walk together and having this conversation presents a great chance to reshape the way they perceive mental health and initiate meaningful discussions on the topic. She expressed her desire for this event to break down mental health stigma and come together to help those facing mental health challenges.

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By openly addressing and seeking help for mental health concerns, wives of NAF officers can break the cycle of silence and stigma surrounding mental health in the military community. Another crucial aspect is establishing a strong support network. Connecting with other officers’ wives, joining support groups, or participating in community events can create a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Building relationships with peers who understand the unique challenges of military life can provide a safe space for sharing experiences, seeking advice, and finding comfort during difficult times.


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