Name of the activity: Semicolon(;)The Mental Health Awareness Project

Country/NMO: India (MSAI)

Program: Mental Health

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Campaign. Combination of education and advocacy. Campaigns create awareness in society about a certain topic (education aspect) and try to funnel this awareness into pressure on the decision makers to adapt policies accordingly (advocacy aspect).

General description:

The ongoing project, Semicolon (Mental Health Awareness) addresses the high school students (aged 15 to 19 yrs), and our aim is to focus on

1) Raising awareness of various major and minor/ organic and inorganic mental health issues (mainly depression and eating, especially since high school students contribute significantly to the risk cohort)

2) Discussion on stigmas associated with the mental health issues and talk about sensitivity of mental health

3) Introduction to the concept mental well being, stress coping mechanism, importance of communication and emotional and psychological first aid.

Our target population is addressed through two session events all over India (first session focuses on awareness and second session is called as the follow up session- it is based on group discussion format finally every participant has to fill up a questionnaire that helps the national team evaluate the impact.

Focus area:

Mental Health advocacy and public awareness

Problem statement:

In October 2016, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) released a mental health survey that said that the incidence of depression is roughly one in every 20 Indians or 5% of the population.Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in children aged 10-24 of which 90% had an underlying mental illness.Due to the attached stigma, nearly 80 per cent of people suffering from mental disorders had not received any treatment despite being afflicted by the illness

Target groups:

Youth

Beneficiaries:

General population

Objectives and indicators of success:

To share basic knowledge of various inorganic mental health conditions

To share information of how mental health conditions are diagnosed and various treatment options

To share characteristics of a mentally healthy person

Explain the importance of mental health in today’s world.

Deconstructing the stigma surrounding mental health and why it’s such a problem.

Discuss the major stressors as students appearing for the board exams

To share healthy ways of life to prevent mental illness.

To share ways of how to talk with depressed person.

Indicators of success:

More than 50% of students have understood the concept of the mental health.

More than 50% of students have understood importance of mental health (WHO definition of health)

More than 30% of students know how to talk with the depressed/dejected/

More than 50% can tell 2 or more than two ways of primary prevention of mental illness

Methodology:

Provide a brief outline of types of mental health disorders (the common ones). Provide a brief outline of various feelings (What are feelings? 10 posters from MSAI) with the help of a PPT, address to the audience by anyone volunteer (Slide and resources) Current stigma on mental health issues and an Audience poll for stressors (involve the audience), Educating the students about what small steps they can take to grow mentally tough during these and any other challenging situations they may come across in life.

A Follow up session- Post event survey and group discussion activity for impact assessment

Plans for evaluation:

monitoring: evaluating success of objectives compared to the success indcators.

evaluation:follow up session evaluation through post event survey and group discussions locally, each event evaluated through pre and post event google forms