Team Lead’s Speech
“Becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving… It is a process.” ……. Michelle Obama
About a year ago, a group of youths identified several problems regarding mental health in Nigeria including poor information regarding mental health, inadequate mental health services and even mental health policies in Nigeria and took a step with a resolved mind to develop solutions to solve the problems we identified one at a time.
The past months has been an amazing one! I have been privileged to work with one of the brightest minds in Nigeria and my most eventful memories are those when teams spent hours and days brainstorming on a single idea!
To dare to believe a vision like ours, which is to ensure that every citizen of the country has sufficient knowledge on his/others mental health and that everyone has access to mental health services in Nigeria, we have faced several challenges from building structures to organization and models but we believe that is only part of the journey. Becoming is a process of evolving and growth and for us, there is no stable destination. Once we meet our targets, we immediately set new ones and re-calibrate.
Perhaps, my becoming story started more than 7 years ago when I lost my friend in secondary school to a mental illness. He developed a mental health condition and was treated with extreme stigma and was bullied by his other classmates as they all thought mental health disorders are infectious diseases and “spiritual” causes. The pressure and lack of a good support system led to my friend committing suicide. I strongly believe that there are millions of “Hammed” all over the world who do not have access to mental health treatment, information and a good support system regarding their mental health.
We are extremely excited to launch this platform as well as continue other projects to contribute to the mental health space. This is not the end, but the beginning of another innovation.This is our story of becoming. What is yours?
Toluwalashe Soyemi is a mental health advocate, social entrepreneur and researcher passionate about mental health, personal development and inclusion. Toluwalashe has over 5 years of experience in the social impact space working with many national and international brand organizations on initiatives of healthcare delivery, community projects and health access.
Tolu has worked closely with a number of organizations like the HultPrize @ Lagos State University as the Campus Director; Local Coordinator African Students for Liberty and Project Director, Africa Development Initiative.
In 2018, he became recognized as a United Nations Millenium Fellow and the following year was selected to represent Nigeria to pitch Protostar Initiative in Shenzen, China as a United Nations SDG Talent (UNLEAH Innovation Lab). He has also been awarded several grants and recognitions for his work in the mental health space from organizations like PeaceFirst, Pollination Project, International Breweries Foundation etc
Passionate about social innovation, he currently works as a Peer Support Mentor with PeaceFirst where he works directly with young leaders all over Sub-Saharan Africa to guide and mentor them through their social impact projects.
Currently in his penultimate year in Lagos State University College of Medicine, Toluwalashe is driven to create a world of inclusion, empathy and where everyone has access to mental health services. He is looking at a career in Global Mental Health and Policy.
Co-founder , ProtoStar
Sarah is currently a Medical Doctor in training with passionate and practical experiences in Mental Health Education and Clinical Psychology. As a team player, she has working experiences with Anti-Suicide and Depression Squad, also known as ASAD, also as a team leader, she has corporate experiences with fast developing innovative companies such as AgroBarn, EduPoint, and other fast-developing corporate organizations through collaborative partnerships and volunteering.
Sarah is the first female FCMB Agritech Grant Awardee with AgroBarn in 2019. She is also a 2019 Peace First Grantee. She currently sits as one of the Founding Board of Trustees and doubles as a Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer at Prostotar Initiative where she also oversees operations and financial activities of the initiative. Prior to Co-Founding Protostar, She was a LYFECAMP Alumni with AgroBarn in 2016.
Sarah has the burning passion and desire to ensuring that she and her team at Protostar Initiative are committed to becoming a social vehicle to driving positive changes and development in Mental Health Space at both local and at global levels.
Kalu Sarah Onyekachi
Co-founder , ProtoStar
People Of ProtoStar
Elias Abimbola Sanni is a young, budding media enthusiast with a demonstrated history of creating industry-standard contents to be conveyed across various media of communication. He has his niche in utilizing digital media tools to disseminate information to targeted audience.
As the Content Head, he led the team that produced the first edition of Protostar’s health education magazine, Cerebral. Also, he leads various other projects that promotes the organizational objectives of Protostar Initiative.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication from Lagos State University and a National Diploma from Lagos State Polytechnic in the same field.
Head, Social Media and Content Creations
Comfort Morenike Daodu is a Physiotherapy student of the University of Benin who is passionate about the mental health of young people. Under the umbrella of Protostar initiative, she has in a collaborative effort with her team successfully launched a story telling platform to help MH patients share their stories as well as link them up with MH experts if needs be.
Director, Branding and Designs
Uthman Opeyemi Yussuff is the Director of branding and designs at Protostar initiative.He is passionate about the totality of health and the art of design and creativity.
He is a final year dental student at the Lagos State University College of medicine, Ikeja, Lagos. He is also the President of the Lagos State University Association of Dental Students (LASUADS) at the same university.
He is the founder and design lead at DBY, a Nigerian based design studio dedicated to providing brands with well crafted design thinking and products that adequately echoes the brand identity.
Board Of Trustees
Great People Behind Us
Tunji Babajide is a UK certified Life coach,the CEO of Awesome Effects consulting based in Lagos, Nigeria.
Dr. Coker Rotimi
Dr. Coker Rotimi is a consultant Psychiatrist who is passionate about mental health in Nigeria.
Join our team of Volunteers
We have created a platform that allows people to access mental health services and online treatment at the comfort of their homes. With a target of reaching 10,000 people in the first 3 months of launch, we are looking for passionate and motivated professionals to join our network to help people.