Nov 13, 2020

Addressing the mental health pandemic in Nepal

Celebrating our mental health advocates in Nepal
Celebrating our mental health advocates in Nepal

"In this pandemic situation, many people are having mental problems. Most of the people feel ashamed to share. Don't be ashamed of that, the more you share more you will feel better."

- Jyoti, Teacher, Psychology student, and Healing Advocate

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As the number of COVID cases spikes in Nepal to more than 200,000, the impact is taking a toll both economically as well as socially, with strict lockdowns still in place across much of the country.

With in-person gatherings still deemed unsafe, our local Nepali Healing Advocates are using the power of social media and podcasts to share stories, break mental health stigma, and educate the country about the importance of healing trauma to break cycles of trauma and violence and build community resilience.

Thanks to your generous support, we have reached 90,000 people since the lockdown started in March. 

In a country where suicide is the leading cause of death among females aged 15-49, yet where there is only 1 mental health professional per nearly 670,000 people, we are leveraging our peer-based mental health model to spread the message that mental health matters - and that everyone can learn to heal.

"There’s one thing we forget - that’s to check on our mental health. Mental health is equally as important as physical health. It is very important at every stage of our life, from childhood to adulthood." - Teacher & Healing Advocate

"I express through art: Be it in the form of music or painting or writing or dancing or simply talking. I am vulnerably honest which requires a lot of courage. And I encourage others to do the same." - Medical doctor, Healing Advocate

“Physical exercise helps us release toxicity from our body - sharing helps us to release our confusion, hurt, and pain.” - Healing Advocate

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Our local team has also been busy building an online-based version of our mental health trainings that will be delivered via short downloadable videos, paired with worksheets, quizzes, and discussion boards - so that Nepali community leaders can access mental health resources in a post-COVID world.

Thank you for your investment in peer-based, survivor-led healing, as we navigate the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and a global mental health crisis - together.

With gratitude,

Gratitude Alliance Nepal

Jul 21, 2020

Addressing the COVID-19 in Uganda

Prepping for Trauma Healing class in school
Prepping for Trauma Healing class in school

COVID-19 in Uganda

COVID-19 has indeed impacted every corner of the globe - and Uganda is no exception.

The Ugandan government initially implemented one of the strictest lockdowns in Africa to help curb the spread of the virus. As of July 20th, the Health Ministry has reported just over 1,000 cases of COVID-19 (with a population of nearly 43 million) and zero deaths so far.

The government has since loosened some restrictions, but many still remain. Though local schools remain closed, our partner, Nyaka, has been working hard to support its communities by distributing educational materials and soap to students, establishing hand washing stations, distributing masks and food rations, and supporting 65 survivors of sexual and gender based violence since the lockdown began.

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Trauma Healing Project: Status Update

With a rise in gender based violence reported by grassroots organizations in Uganda, along with the mental health crisis fueled by shelter-in-place, loss of employment, and the disruption of social gatherings which are critical to the emotional wellbeing of the community, there is no shortage of need for mental health support.  

While our trauma healing school education program has temporarily paused due to shelter-in-place, your continued support will ensure that we can restart without further disruption once schools safely reopen.

Your support will also help us innovate on training delivery, exploring video-based mental health education to broaden our reach and train more grandmothers, as Nyaka's granny program has doubled in size over the last several years, growing to over 15,000 grandmothers who support over 60,000 orphans in the region.  

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Ripple Effect of Your Support

We recently received a heartwarming message from Phillip, a local faith leader who attended our trauma healing workshop two years ago. Phillip wrote us to share how he has been training parents, caregivers, and children in the community about trauma and healing, while also providing one-on-one counseling. 

One survivor, in particular, recently lost her father to violence. "The girl failed to cope with the situation. She would perform poorly in class, alway beat up people who wanted to come close to her, and she had no friends," Phillip explained.

"My first approach was to create rapport."  Creating trust and emotional safety is a key concept taught in our workshops. 

"Later we talked together and she explained what she was going through. She let her feelings out through crying and narrating the story... I helped her and she is now improving. She talks to everyone now but I am her great confidante. I am really helping by the knowledge you instilled in me. Thank you so much."

Thank you for investing in community-led healing! Your support is empowering leaders like Phillip to support survivors in his community to heal their wounds and transform their lives. 

Our deepest gratitude,
Gratitude Alliance

Jul 14, 2020

Addressing the COVID mental health crisis in Nepal

Healing Advocate emotional support group via Zoom
Healing Advocate emotional support group via Zoom


As COVID-19 continues to fuel a mental health crisis across the globe, our team in Nepal has been working hard to quickly respond to the urgent need for resources and support.

To date, Nepal has reported over 16,000 cases of COVID-19. The country remains under strict lockdown while suffering from a lack of public health infrastructure and a stark rise in cases of gender violence and deaths by suicide since shelter-in-place went into effect in March.

With your generous support, our team of passionate Healing Advocates quickly mobilized to address the urgent need for mental health resources - creating educational videos and social media content to help local citizens learn how to cope with stress, provide emotional first aid, and address trauma in their families and community. Since March, our mental health videos and posts have over 25,000 views. 

We've also hosted online emotional support calls and continue to offer mental health webinars to local educational institutions and businesses to equip folks with tangible tools to alleviate toxic stress, build resilience, dispel the stigma of mental health, and create a culture and community of care. 

As we look ahead to creating online versions of our extensive in-person Healing Advocacy workshops to help broaden access to mental health resources, we thank you for your ongoing support for and belief in the ripple effect of this work. Although it's true that "hurt people hurt people" - we've also seen that "healed people heal people". And an investment in just one Healing Advocate can bring healing to an entire community - for generations. 

Best wishes for the safety, health, and protection of you and your loved ones during these difficult times.

Gratefully yours,
Gratitude Alliance

School principals learn the science of trauma
School principals learn the science of trauma
Video about coping with anxiety and stress
Video about coping with anxiety and stress


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