Led by his passion for putting his ideas and thoughts to paper and Children’s Mental Health, Canadian-based Ugandan author and mental health professional, Nathan Ssewaali has launched his mental health book for children titled, ‘Lola and The Emotions Carousel’.
The author stated during the book’s debut to the public scene at the Seneca Library that “the objective of this book is to teach parents on ways of managing their children’s emotions.”
‘Lola and The Emotions Carousel’ depicts the story of a young Lola going from fear and sadness to joy, as she explores her feelings helped by her loving Grandma, this way she’s helped to learn about emotions and their importance in her life, and how they can impact her day-to-day life.
Through tears and laughter, she understands the basics and how to manage her emotions. This book provides balanced and complete information.
Ssewaali says he wrote the book because he believes that Mental health disorders in children are generally defined as delays or disruptions in developing age-appropriate thinking, behavior, social skills or regulation of emotions.
These problems are distressing to children and disrupt their ability to function well at home, in school or other social situations.
He goes on to say that most of the Ugandan population lives in rural areas and there are very few inpatients psychiatric units across the country with only one mental hospital thus, those living in much of the country have little access to mental healthcare.
The author got interested in learning more about parent and child development after having a baby boy with his wife, having been a young immigrant father in North America.
“I wanted to be the best dad for my kids. I also wanted to learn more about kids’ mental health and also to be able to raise my boy in the most appropriate way or manner, he says.
On how COVID 19 affected children’s mental health worldwide, Nathan says it is an issue the Ugandan Mental Health system never bothered to look at. Statistically many children were delayed in learning to talk because of the masks people around them were wearing, according to researchers, children read lips while communicating to people around them and when they can’t see the lips, it was hard for them to comprehend a thing that greatly affected their talking abilities.
Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) is one approach that can improve access to mental health services for children and their families, partnerships between primary medical care practices and mental health care specialists can make mental health services more accessible for some families. A systematic review shows that children’s mental health care access that allows mental health care to be located in primary medical care and schools can help improve access.
Emotional intelligence remains one of the most important skills for every individual. Over the years, several resources have been developed by a plethora of experts to teach the art to as many people as possible. However, very little has been achieved in this aspect, especially as many of such resources are seemingly abstract, making it difficult for the audience to relate with and put into practice.
Consequently, Nathan aims to change this narrative by creating a relatable story and teaching people how to manage their emotions, irrespective of happenings around them, with the release of “Lola and The Emotions Carousel.”
The book is already available and can be purchased online on Amazon.
About Nathan Ssewali:
Ssewaali is a multifaceted photographer, cinematographer, public relations officer, creative designer, and entrepreneur who graduated with a Bachelors degree in Information Science and Library from Makerere University and holds different certificates from different Canadian institutions of learning, including George Brown College, Seneca College and the photo school. He recently finalized his post Graduate Diploma in Infants and child mental health.