There is a connection between oral and mental health. Recent research suggests that people with anxiety or depression may experience a decline in oral health. In this interview with KebbiDailyNews Reporter, Thompson Ekemini, the founder, Mental and Oral Health Development Organization, Iyadi Linda, reveals why her organization is leaving no stone unturned to helping people live happily.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
My name is Iyadi Linda, a Dental Therapist, Counselor and an Oral Health Educator. I obtained my first degree from Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Enugu and have successfully undergone certified courses in Psychology, Time and Stress management from Saylors University, Washington D.C USA. Epicore Certified in Innovative Disease Surveillance, I am the founder of the Mental and Oral Health Development Organization Inc., Nigeria.
I have successfully helped some of my neighbors, friends and family members to overcome addictions to alcohol and drugs, depression, anxiety and other stresses that affect us some times in our life. I have worked with other health related NGOs as a volunteer to impact greatly on people.
As a therapist, I combine experience, education, creativity and sense of humor with down-to-earth realistic approach to counselling. With my strong passion and rich experience in clinical practice, counselling, and community oral health services, i have successfully conducted over 20 community oral health outreaches in different states in Nigeria.
I am a member of various association/ organizations including the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, American Nutrition Association, International Society of Infectious Disease and many more.
In addition to my clinical and oral health educational practices, I love teaching, guidance and counselling, doing creative work, travelling and physical exercise.
I believe that with God, the right tools, empathetic support and personal determination, we can live our lives to the fullness.
2) Tell us what your organization does?
Our organization uses practical projects and research to help prevent, manage and rehabilitate people with mental and oral health problems. We take preventive approaches very serious because we recognize the fact that people have different perceptions towards mental and oral health based on their level of awareness and acceptance.
3) What is your key achievement?
So far so good, we have developed plans, ran research and delivered programs that gave us the evidence and expertise to understand what makes and keep people mentally and orally healthy and how to intervene earlier.
4) What inspired you to start your own organization?
My main inspiration for starting MOHDO is because I have a globally unique story (mental health related), this gave me a deeper sense of understanding people’s different life challenges. I believe I can offer the perspective, structure, support, guidance and honesty others needed to make big live transformation for a healthy living.
5) What is different about your programs?
Our programs are unique because we deal with the two most used part of the human body (mental and oral) which are often taken for granted. MOHDO sees the need for good mental and oral health as fundamental to our everyday living, hence we aim to find and address the root causes of mental and oral health issues.
6) Tell us little about your team
Our team have ultimate responsibility for the organization; they are leaders in their individual fields, who are appointed based on their commitment to mental and oral health and their experience and skills which enable them to undertake the responsibilities of the organization.
They ensure we make the best use of our resources to carry out world-class research and activities. They play a vital role in ensuring the proper procedures and policies are in place to manage the organizational resources effectively, provide long-term vision and protect our reputation.
7) Share a little about your enterpreneurial journey
My enterpreneurial journey has been God all the way, at the onset it was a little bit challenging but I choose to see it very interesting because I understand the fact that nothing goes smoothly at the beginning.
With my strong passion and will to lead a way to helping people understand and manage their mental and oral health irrespective of their socio-economic status, I keep growing believing that one day our mission and vision will be accomplished.
8) What are your future plans and aspiration for your organization?
Our future plans and aspiration is to be committed to working in partnership with other leading health organization , professional bodies, institutions and funding organizations. Together we can have a stronger voice, greater influence to shape and transform people’s live positively.
9) What gives you the satisfaction being an NGO?
Our value system as MOHDO which can be summed as LACES.
L = Love this is our major driving force that propels all our activities.
Being the reason for people to be happy gives me great satisfaction.
What is the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start up?
Bringing up something that will really change the world is the hardest decision anyone could make, I encourage all with such great dreams to follow their dreams and never to give up because there’ll always be a rough path along the line; but just know that every challenges one face is nothing more than a positive lesson that is invaluable. You can’t buy it, you have to experience it for you to feel the true sense of what it takes to succeed.
Entrepreneurship is a journey, enjoy its life path.