In 2013, when Leke Alder began his online mentoring programme, I was intrigued. Having worked with him for many years, I should have known he would bring the same level of intensity to social media that he employs offline. In 3 years, he has published over 300 online letters advising male and female mentees around the world, using the hashtags, #Letr2Jack and #Letr2Jil. He has also personally responded to 2,000 emails from young people seeking custom advice. These things are noteworthy but what really touched my heart was the launch of the Jack & Jil Therapy platform, which I now manage and which Alder Consulting fully funded.
Mr. Alder observed that many of the young people who wrote to him were dealing with issues of porn & masturbation (and other critical life issues). In response, the online therapy platform was designed to facilitate bookings with professional therapists who donated hours of their time to help those who requested it by phone. In 7 months, there have been 400 bookings. Think about it for a moment – 400 real people who willingly sought help just because a platform was made available.
Managing the online therapy platform is one of the realest things I’ve ever done in life. Some may have read my seminal work on the prevalence of porn in Nigeria and why addiction to it a critical issue that should be monitored and addressed, particularly for minors. (The article is here). Hearing or reading about the issues is one thing, being aware of them first-hand is another entirely. The Jack & Jil Therapy platform has helped me humanize the issues and become part of the solution.
Now, I’m thinking about the next step for the project. We need full time counselors who will work in 2 shifts. The first shift will be 9 to 5 but the second shift will be during the peak periods for porn consumption – 9pm and 2am. When people need help, they should get it immediately. While the current booking system is good, many people change their minds from the moment they book till the time they’re scheduled to speak with a therapist. We need full time therapists who are on call and will speak to people immediately. This means we also need to set up a call centre to route the calls to the therapists.
Looking for funding to hire full time therapists and to build a call centre weighs heavily on my mind. I need help. I know I shouldn’t worry but with each passing day, I’m aware we’re losing the next generation to porn’s special brand of sex education and programming.