Name of the activity: Mental Health Campaign – Free Your Mind

Country/NMO: Lebanon (LeMSIC)

Program: Mental Health

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Education. Education on health issues for specific societal groups, either in the form of projects (set of tasks for a certain group over a fixed period of time), events (something notable that happens) or conferences (form meeting about ideas related to a particular topic, usually over several days).

General description:

This national event being hosted in each University LC aims to raise awareness about mental health and the importance of a healthy mental well being. This 3 day campaign is being held to put emphasis on the stigma that revolves mental health issues and try to absolve it by encouraging the general university population to seek guidance to speak about their triggers. In addition, this campaign hosted a variety of soft skills workshops and talks that allowed medical students to be more clinically introduced to mental health issues and how to be able to emotionally manage their stressful medical education.

Day 1:

-Awareness Booths tackling different topics such as anxiety, depression, suicide…

– Flyers and bracelets were distributed to increase the visibility on campus

Day 2:

-Open lecture for all medical students to attend

Day 3:

-Hold a workshops

– Subgroup discussions with Clinical Psychiatrists

Focus area:

Mental Health among Medical Students

Problem statement:

Since 1 out of 4 people in Lebanon will experience a mental health problem throughout their lifetime, and the increased incidence of mental health problems, and EMBRACE reports that 26% of lebanese adults met at least of the criteria for diagnosing depression with 10.5% having more than one disorder in 2008. The latter highlights the prominent prevalence of such illnesses in lebanon which explains the need for an activity as ours.

Target groups:

Medical students, Other Students

Beneficiaries:

General population, Medical students, Other Students

Objectives and indicators of success:

1.Increase the knowledge on basic MH principles among 5 unis between Nov and Jan:

-Holding awareness booths, distributing flyers and bracelets for at least 300 people

-Introduce students to at least 1 NGO providing students with free guidance and counseling though several platforms

IoS:

At least 400 flyers distributed

At least 100 ppl spend more than 1 min, and 200 ppl spend more than 30 sec on the booth

At least 3 ppl get in contact with NGO to volunteer/seek assistance

2.Build the capacity of medical students in 5 unis to detect alarming signs for mental disorders and assist those with MH problems between Nov and Jan:

-Delivering a workshop for 60 medical students about MH

-Subgroups discussions for at least 12 ppl each with Psychiatrists to learn techniques of providing basic guidance and encourage them to get guidance if needed

-Organizing an open lecture for at least 75 ppl to highlight the triggering events related to a medical student’s lifestyle and how to overcome them

IoS:

At least 40 attend more than 90% of the workshop

At least 75% of the ppl in subgroup learn at least 2 techniques for providing basic guidance

Have at least 75 attendees in the open lecture

Methodology:

Form a local OC in each LC, a team for:

– contacting external speakers/sponsors: set up a list of possible NGOs, choose the NGO best suitable. Contact psychiatrists to volunteer to provide trainings. A meeting was set between the psychiatrists to coordinate a standardized training outline. Sponsors included printing outlets that have recyclable paper.

-preparing all the material (booths, bracelets, brochures…). All information had to approved by the dean of Faculty of Psychology in one of the universities to ensure the credibility.

-secure all the venues for the 3 days and all the physical equipment needed. We needed a big space for the booths, an auditorium, and 6 small rooms for the subgroup discussions. All of them can be found for free on campus.

– selecting and preparing the volunteers. The volunteers at the booths received a training from the NPO on how to properly relay the information to people.

– contacting media to ensure exposure of this activity to the population

Plans for evaluation:

Through registration form and attendance sheet at the booths and rooms to determine the number of attendees:

Open lectures: 85 attendees

Workshop: 60 attendees with full attendance throughout.

Subgroup discussions had maximum capacity and learned 2 techniques for basic guidance.

10 members are now applying to become volunteers at the NGO.

On average, the booths had 500 visitors (380 staying for at least 1 min, 500 staying at least 30 sec)

Verbal post-evaluation: psychiatrists and guest speakers asked questions to determine the level of comprehension. They reported at least 70% grasped the topics discussed.

Follow up survey about the content done 6 weeks after the event by collaborating with medical students researching this topic. The questions asked in this follow up survey can be found in the paper once it is published. The adviser wouldn’t allow us to share them at this point; however, he reports that the data is positive, and encouraged to repeat this project.