Oscar Pistorius, the embattled South African sprint runner and Olympic athlete who has been involved in what can be termed the world’s most televised trial of the 21st century, appeared at North Gauteng High Court this morning after a three-and-a-half year legal battle. Oscar Pistorius repeatedly shot his 29-year-old model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, after she barricaded herself in the bathroom of his home in Pretoria on February 2013.

Oscar is a broken man and he needs help. Evidence over the last one year revealed that Oscar has lived with Anxiety and Fear attacks for several years. The court came to a shocking realization that there were two Oscars “Pistoriuses”.

While the first Oscar is a BOLD, COURAGEOUS, HERO and STAR who performed and roared like a lion on the race track; the second Oscar is a fearful, anxious, boy with low self-esteem who suffered from depression.

The court in South Africa, based on the psychological evaluation, emotional and mental health of Oscar Pistorius, sentenced Oscar to 6 years in prison instead of the minimum of 15 years jail sentence recommended. My heart and empathy go out to the Steenkamps for the heartbreak and emotional trauma they have suffered since the day their daughter died. However,  in my opinion as a psychologist and therapist, I believe it is a fair sentencing for Pistorius considering his emotional and mental state.

Oscar Pistorius and late Reeva Steenkamp in happier times
Oscar Pistorius and late Reeva Steenkamp in happier times

In Today’s world, we daily experience numerous global issues such as economic recessions, climate change, political instability, social and family instability (separation and divorce), abuse and violence, growing insecurity and bombings, all these and more will create heightened anxiety, fear, trauma, frustration etc. thereby threatening many people’s state of mental health.

Frequent encounters with and pressure from common day stressors in the workplace, family and society at large will continue to push our emotional well-being to the brinks. Today, it has become very important to pay more attention to our mental health more than ever.

Mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness, it also means having the skills necessary to cope with life’s challenges, ability to adapt to change and cope with stress. Our children and youth based on their exposure to the internet are even more exposed to new forms of mental health issues such as addictions, cyber bullying, over bearing temptations, peer pressure, easy access and reach plus other social ills.

Serious action must be taken now; we all must lend a voice to mental health awareness, especially in Nigeria and Africa at large. Over 21 Million Nigerians are living with one form of mental health challenge.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):

1) Only 20 percent of this people have got access to any form of treatment whatsoever. A greater percentage will remain in hiding mostly due to stigmatization and ignorance.

2) Depression will be the world’s No 2 killer and form of disability by 2020 and the world’s No 1 killer and form of disability by 2030

The Olusola Lanre Coaching Academy (OLCA) positions over the next 10 years to change people’s attitudes, mindsets, discrimination, level of ignorance, and sense of taboo about mental health. We commit to improve the resources, promote mental health awareness, early detection and provide various professional interventions to mental health issues.

Call us today for help 08077077000 or info@olcang.com

The Catalyst, Lanre Olusola.