Significant strides have been made in addressing mental health awareness and support within communities and schools. The initiative successfully reached 152 individuals through community-based interventions, focusing on direct mental health support and awareness of mental health issues. A pivotal development has been the formation of a wellness club by students at Mashujaaa Secondary School. With support from the teachers and TEWWY, this club has crafted an action plan aimed at promoting mental health awareness among students at Mashujaaa and surrounding schools. Their planning efforts include organizing a multi-school concert, engaging in community service projects, and implementing various school-based initiatives, including contemplative practices, all designed to foster a supportive environment for mental health among students and teachers.
Continued collaboration with the public sector and the engagement of individuals in community interventions mark a significant step towards a more mental health-aware society. The initiatives of the student-led wellness club demonstrate an increased awareness and proactive approach among youth regarding mental health issues. The club's fundraising efforts are crucial for the execution of their planned activities, which are expected to extend the reach of mental health awareness beyond the immediate community. This has set a precedent for similar initiatives, highlighting the growing commitment to mental health and psychosocial support in communities and educational settings.
75 People Reached in 3 Months of Community-Based Interventions
By Rustica Tembele | Project Leader
The initiative has been successful in implementing psychosocial interventions in Local Government Authorities (LGAs), receiving substantial demand from residents and community leaders.
The elderly women have provided 75 sessions of one-on-one counseling as part of the weekly community-based interventions. These were implemented in LGAs and proved quite successful, with great demand from the residents and community leaders alike. TEWWY has been focusing on advocacy to raise awareness on mental health issues and to ensure mental health is on the national agenda. We hope this leads to improvements in policy, legislation, and service development.
More efforts are being put towards fundraising to support and sustainably implement psychosocial interventions in LGAs. We aim to continue building the capacity of teachers and elderly women to enhance help-seeking efficacy and reduce stigma associated with mental health.
On June 2nd, the team launched a 1-year school-based mental health intervention program at a local secondary school. This grant was made possible by the generosity of Sony Music Group, which has committed to aiding teacher training, developing student protective factors and peer support systems, as well as strengthening social support systems and community linkages with public health care pathways.
The project is expected to train 41 teachers in adapted WHO's School Mental Health Program and a Mental Health Literacy Curriculum Guide. The training will improve teachers' knowledge and skills in identifying and appropriately addressing mental illness in students and increase the use of appropriate and evidence-based behavioral management strategies in schools. 20 students who have assumed the role of mental health ambassadors will be taught mental health literacy. They will be empowered and supported in raising awareness and promoting mental health among their peers.
The project will also implement weekly mental health services accessible from Sinza mtaa government authority. This will reduce stigma in accessing mental health care. We will also collaborate with Palestina Hospital, a local public health institution to offer students extensive support and strengthen referral pathways in the community.
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