Living in a country were mental health is highly stigmatized and there are not many mental health facilities or resources for the people, Sankhulani Daka Co-founded Let’s Talk Mental Health (LTMH) as an initiative to bridge this gap and help raise mental health awareness and create a safe space for individuals who are going through mental health struggles to seek help.
Sankhulani, recalls his own struggles with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts throughout his undergraduate studies at the University of Zambia and not knowing where to get help. He then developed a keen interest in mental health and to his shock not many services were available for people with mental health issues in Zambia. This later prompted the idea to start a platform that educates and helps people who were in a similar situation as he was. His medical background gives him a strong appetite to teach and advocate for mental health because he fully understands the effects of mental stress on our wellbeing.
When asked why he was persuing a master of science in counselling degree from Zimbabwe Open University, Daka said, “I want to be the help that I never got when I was going through my mental health struggles.” He later on added that he wants a mention of his name to be a reminder for people to prioritize their mental health.
Let’s Talk Mental Health (LTMH) is graced with a team of highly dedicated individuals with Daka being their CEO. Since its inception in 2018, LTMH has helped over 37000 people globally and their campaigns have reached over 1.2 million people. LTMH focuses on the impact of mental illnesses on an individual level as well as community level hence it is open 24/7 for anyone in need of a friend, mentor or professional help.
Campaigns like, ‘How is your mental health?’ encouraged people in Zambia and around the world to speak about their mental health issues. ‘Bringing Smiles’ campaign helped to empower the mental well being of the less priviledged children. Looking at the increase rate of suicide cases in youths, Sankhulani spearheaded the ‘SAY NO TO SUICIDE ‘ campaign aimed at preventing suicides across the globe and hopefully reduce the percentage of suicides by 75%.