Their stories of woe were quite traumatic. Thankfully, the Psycho-Social Support they received from our team was soothing and therapeutic.
Julius Utondo, a father of 8 children came for the consultation with a gaping wound at the back of his neck which he sustained only 2 weeks ago (on September 28th, 2022) during a surprise attack on him and 5 others at his maize farm located at Tse Agere, Mbawar Mbagber Council Ward of Logo Local Government Area of Benue State. When the assailants left, 2 persons laid dead.
According to Utondo, “the attackers crept in stealthily on us through the thick foliage of maize plants until they got within striking distance. I saw one of the attackers suddenly lunge towards me with a sword and I spurned around in a frantic attempt to flee. He came after me in hot pursuit, desperately swiping to cut me down as I ran. Then suddenly, I tripped and fell face down completely at the mercy of the blood-thirsty killer”.
“Within seconds, the attacker who was close on my heels reached me and struck me in the neck with his sword instantly spewing blood. The wound was deep and I felt blood and life oozing out of me as my attacker scampered away leaving me for dead.”
“Long after they left, I managed to muster the last strength and crept to where I sought help from passersby who rushed me to the hospital for treatment”.
Utondo’s story was one among many stories told by survivors during the Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS) session administered by Eunice Spring of Life Foundation (ESLF) supported by Victims Support Fund (VSF) to survivors of the intractable farmer-herder crisis in the State as part of VSF’s Benue State Emergency Support Program to help ameliorate the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in partnership with ESLF.
The IDPs also received health talks on the need for personal hygiene and keeping a clean environment.
ESLF remains committed to mainstreaming mental health in its programmes even as the world marks World Mental Health Day 2022 with the theme, “Make Mental Health for all a Global Priority”.