A campaign on mental health problems in schools

The world celebrates every year the Mental Health Day on 10th October and all actors keep searching on how to improve their role in building a world free of mental health problems.
This year again, UYISENGA NI IMANZI has aligned under the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration saying that “there is no health without mental health” referring to a state of well-being and the abilities of each person to live with others, to cope life. Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) in leading this day made a call to partners to discuss the 2018 theme: “Young people and mental health in a changing world”.

In partnership with Rwanda Psychological Society and Schools, UYISENGA NI MANZI has conducted a Campaign on Mental Health in five Schools (CMHS), where a project ‘Education and Care” is being implemented, thanks to the support of “Family For Every Child”. We have therefore worked hand in hand with Psychologists, school authorities, teachers, parents and students to prevent and mitigate the effects of psychological problems, and therefore to improve the quality of education, the collaboration between teachers and parents as well as the positive parenting.

The campaign took place in GS St Aloys Rwamagana with more than 1000 students and all teachers, in GS Cyimbazi of Rwamagana, in GS Kagugu Catholique and GS Remera Catholique in Gasabo district, and in GS St Jean Bosco of Kamonyi district.

The main objective of the campaign in line with 2018 World Mental Health Day (WMHD), raising awareness about mental health affecting young people in this changing world and was structured as follow:

  • Discuss about stages of child and adolescent development;
  • Sensitize about major mental disorders in young people;
  • Inform about the risk factors, prevention and management of mental disorders in young people;
  • Promote the positive parenting and discipline respectively within families and schools;
  • Determine the contribution of young people in country’s development.

After the campaign, we expect the following outcomes:

  • Awareness raising about mental health in young people and school teachers;
  • Early detection and follow-up of young people with mental illness;
  • Behavior change of young people, teachers and parents;
  • Promote psycho-social support and well-being of students at school;
  • More collaboration between parents and teachers on psychosocial support;
  • Creation and reinforcement of mental health clubs in schools to deal with prevalent mental health issues within schools or establish referral mechanisms.

The campaign has been a success, and we expect to make mental health clubs and child protection structures more professional and sustainable. We owe a lot to Psychologists, Teachers and School authorities who made this campaign possible. We expect from them to continue the mobilization and the support to victims of mental health.

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