Diaspora Mental Health Guru Launches Innovative App for Immigrant Worker Well-being

Diaspora Mental Health Guru Launches Innovative App for Immigrant Worker Well-being

Celebrating UNESCO’s World Radio Day, Josiah Okesola, a UK-licensed mental health nurse clinician and digital media broadcaster, announces the imminent unveiling of JapaCity, a groundbreaking digital media innovation driving support for the psychological wellbeing of immigrants.

This revolutionary media innovation is poised to provide vital psycho-social support for migrant workers across the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.

In a media chat with a journalist, the founder of JapaCity reveals more about the exciting project.

Could you kindly introduce yourself?

My name is Josiah Jackson-Okesola, an award-winning digital media innovator, global healthcare leader, and licensed mental health expert based in the United Kingdom.

I am a Nigerian who is a past winner of the highly revered Nigeria Healthcare Excellence Awards (NHEA) – digital media category, also an awardee of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), a former coordinator of the Nursing Now Global Campaign powered by the World Health Organization (W.H.O) and International Council of Nurses, a member of the Advisory Panel for “The Truth About Nursing” U.S.A, a scholarship winner at Drexel University, U.S.A, one the founding members of the British African Nurses Network, a tech start-up founder, and currently a MBA student at the London School of International Business.

What inspired the creation of JapaCity?

JapaCity emerged from my personal journey and travails as a mental health nurse clinician facing profound challenges upon immigrating to the United Kingdom. Confronting and overcoming a series of daunting challenges ranging from racial prejudice to workplace bullying, and mental health struggle, I decided to convert my negative experiences into positive energy, innovating a transformative project aimed at offering pastoral care and psychological support for struggling immigrants and their families.

Can you share more about your initial struggles in the UK and how it fueled JapaCity?

When I newly arrived in the United Kingdom, I appeared confused, lost, lonely, frustrated, and dejected. I initially struggled to adapt, acclimatize, and integrate into the UK workforce system which was completely different from what I was used to back in Africa. Aside from not being duly recognized for my two decades of experience in the healthcare field, I had terrible workplace challenges including racial discrimination and profiling, and workplace bullying which affected my mental health drastically. My near-death experience with COVID-19 and subsequent diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome was the height of it. These were the significant experiences being experienced by almost every colleague who came into the country. That highlighted to me the need for more African-tailored intervention, comprehensive psycho-social support, and emotional first aid that complements what was already existing.

What sets JapaCity apart from other digital media apps?

What stands JapaCity out is its ability to fill a yawning gap in the digital media space for immigrants. Its uniqueness also lies in the inbuilt ability to digitally integrate a relay radio station that streams in content from radio stations back in Africa. This special feature fosters cultural connections, providing a rich tapestry of rich programming.
Apart from integrating artificial intelligence, our upcoming digital media app also features a flagship program, SAFE SPACE, offering real-time psychological first-aid and emotional support to immigrants.

How does JapaCity contribute to the well-being of immigrant workers?

Apart from serving as a digital media app; it is a transformative force in the field of mental health, leveraging lived experiences to enhance the psycho-emotional well-being of immigrants. With its anonymous live-call-in and live-chat options, the platform provides immediate response to immigrant workers, families, and friends who might be in distress.

What impact does JapaCity aim to achieve globally?

Aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals, JapaCity addresses safe, regular, and orderly migration as a force for positive change, driving socio-economic growth both for donor countries and receiving countries.

By offering targeted support for emigrants leaving their home countries, and immigrant workers moving into a new country, including their dependents, and families, JapaCity nurtures the mental resilience and well-being of migrant workers, empowering them to become a strong tool for transformation in their new country, and socio-economic development in their home countries.

How does JapaCity support immigrants in their integration into new societies?

Recognizing the challenges of cultural integration and adaptation, JapaCity provides a media space for immigrants with lived experiences to share their stories, including how they initially struggled, survived, and are now thriving despite the numerous barriers like culture shock, workplace intimidation, bullying or discrimination.

Through partnerships with other radio stations back at home, our digital media app facilitates cultural connections, helping immigrants feel at home away from home, and assisting them to easily navigate unfamiliar environments and foster social inclusion.

Why is JapaCity unveiling on World Radio Day?

The choice of World Radio Day signifies JapaCity’s commitment to celebrating radio’s impact while introducing a future-focused platform. This unveiling aligns with UNESCO’s recognition of radio as a medium for quality information, entertainment, and community engagement.

How does JapaCity contribute to the global migration discourse?

I am a strong advocate of leveraging international migration and brain drain as an opportunity for passionate diaspora-based Africans to return home and invest the benefits they have amassed back in their home countries. JapaCity, beyond being a media innovation tool, serves as a positive intellectual resource that empowers immigrants in their home communities.

What does the future hold for JapaCity and its founder, Josiah Okesola?

JapaCity is set to become a vital migration resource hub for immigrants. It leverages digital media technology for information, education, entertainment, training, cultural exchange, and global connectivity.
As its pioneer, I am driven by my own lived experience and that of colleagues and friends, igniting the passion to transform a negative situation to a positive vibe. I envision a global digital media space that inspires, empowers, and supports migrants, helping them to adapt, survive, thrive, excel, and succeed in their new countries.

I am currently writing my first book to advocate for more support for migrant workers. It captures the adventurous and intriguing tales of the African immigrant, instilling in every immigrant the ability to thrive and succeed against all odds!

We are also working towards building a media academy that helps nurture the talents of any immigrant young and old, who has a passion for the media broadcasting field.

How can individuals access JapaCity and contribute to its mission?

JapaCity, now accessible on www.japacity.co.uk as a 24/7 international online radio, is set to culminate into a digital media app that does much more than impact the lives of departing immigrants and newly arriving immigrants.

We are devoted to providing a media space with diverse programming that inspires every listening audience to get inspired with the stories of struggle, resilience, determination, survival, and success.

Contributions of the audience to the mission involve participating in live-call-in and live-chat options, utilizing the SAFE SPACE program, featuring as guests on our podcasts and live shows, joining the media crew to run the station, and spreading awareness about the transformative impact of JapaCity.

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