Name of the activity: Sharpen your Mind

Country/NMO: Romania (FASMR)

Program: Mental Health

Contact information: [email protected] +40758559567

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:

Sharpen your Mind is the first local Mental Health project, established according to the students’ increasing need of an adequate psychological support, a widespread problem of current times. The activities conducted have two main target groups: high school students and medical students. The high school students will receive presentations and useful tips from our volunteers on stress agents, stress effects – signs and symptoms, types of stress, stress management, coping methods. The medical students will have the opportunity to participate in workshops organized by specialists regarding stress management, time management, studying strategies, positive thinking and mindfulness. The activities and teenagers’ mental health statistics will be promoted in the local community.

Focus area:

Mental Health advocacy and public awareness

Problem statement:

The latest WHO statistics are very serious: 82% of the teenagers suffer from stress or anxiety, 45% of the medical students feel permanently stressed and every 40 seconds, someone dies from suicide, this being the second most common cause of death for teenagers aged 16-25. These numbers show the teenagers’ increasing need of an adequate psychological support. The mental disorders are still neglected in Romania, despite them being the main etiology of global debilitation.

Target groups:

Medical students, High school students

Beneficiaries:

General population, Medical students, Doctors, High school students

Objectives and indicators of success:

1. Informing 2000 high school students about stress agents, stress risks and choosing the right coping strategy on a 1 month period

– Conducting 100 presentations on stress and coping methods in 5 high schools;

– Receiving a good feedback from the students using a form;

2. Organizing 5 mental health educational activities for medical students on a 2 months period

– Receiving a good feedback from the students using a form;

– Carrying out 3 workshops and conferences on stress management, time management, mindfulness and positive thinking;

– Carrying out 2 stress relief activities, such as yoga classes, art therapy;

– An increased number of participants in these activities;

3. Advocating for mental health

– Carrying out a statistic about teenagers’ mental health;

– Regional and National press releases;

– Promoting addressing to the educational institution’s assigned Psychologist among high school students and medical students;

Methodology:

– Selection of 50 volunteers, which will receive Public Speaking, Stress Management and Burnout trainings;

– Developing a Powerpoint presentation about stress and the proper ways to deal with it;

– Collaborations with local high schools, in which volunteers will conduct presentations using the Powerpoint support. High school students will also fill a feedback form and a stress related quiz.

– Collaborations with Psychologists who will give workshops, lectures and conferences to medical students;

– Promoting these events among students (posters, flyers, social media posts) and supervising their smooth running;

– Reaching out to mass-media;

Plans for evaluation:

We have already conducted a mini-research in our University regarding the level of stress among students, their anxiety and risk behavior in the exam session. After every activity, the participants will fill a feedback form. By analyzing the results and developing a new statistic, we hope to see an improvement in students’ attitude toward stress management and coping methods. The institutions’ psychologists will report if the number of students addressing to their services has increased. The volunteers will be closely supervised and will provide constant feedback and suggestions for the improvement of the activities.