Beat the Heat“find your mind,” is Befriender Uganda’s proposed mental health improvement and promotion project for metal health service users and their care givers. The project is based on story telling by sharing experiences and best practices between and among service user, their care givers and the general public. The program is aimed at achieving self-awareness and promoting a help seeking behavior among the mental health service users/ patients and their care givers with the aim of reducing drug abuse, promotion of mental stability and a improved social support at the family level.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
The project will be working with mentally challenged young persons especially those with suicide ideations aged 10- 29yrs.
This is because suicide is the 3rdleading cause of death for people ages 10- 24 years. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to acknowledge or come up with substantially real statistics in Uganda. However, even though that is the case, the impact of this worldwide phenomenon can be felt at all levels.
According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, more than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder. But, environmental factors are the predisposing factors that keep these groups of people at a higher risk. This age bracket experiences a number of problems which turn out to be serious stress factors in their lives.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Psychiatric Clinical Officers: Mr. Mugamba Samuel and Mr. John Emoit
Social workers/ counselors: Nampijja Jane (www.facebook.com/Nampijjajane), Nsubuga Ivan (www.facebook.com/Nsubugaivan), Nambuyaga Juliet (www.facebook.com/Nambuyagajuliet), Kagaayi Godfrey
Psychologist; Nakigudde Janet
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
We intend to create self help mental health stories, success stories sharing forms of best practices, general information on mental health and suicide related issues among others.
Stories on topics such as seeking for help, drug adherence, and stories depicting how manageable all mental conditions are. In most of these stories we would like to encourage the participants who are affected by these conditions to come out to the open and speak. May be the community will see the truth and embrace their existence as human beings too.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
Sharing is learning and information is power. Our shared stories and news will give the reader a chance to understand the topic better. We intend for example to share warning signs, precipitating factors, personal stories on what it means to be depressed and considering suicide as the only way out, how to live with a mental patient among others. Since the content will be shared publically, we envision the opportunity to empower and motivate service users all over the world as the content will be willingly presented by the affected participants themselves. They will be sharing exactly what they felt, how they feel and how best managed some crises can be. We believe other service users will understand that they are not alone.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
The project will be training 30 participants for the start; 15 service users and 15 care givers. Invitation to sign up for the training will be followed by written consent which will be signed by both the patients and care givers. Notifications will be sent to them as reminders for their participation in the project, physical meetings twice every month will be held since these people are incapacitated and discriminated against, their transport will always be refunded and refreshments will be availed to motivate their attendance.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
The project will use Digital videos, the internet, mobile phones, and tape recorders as technologies and tools for media content output. We expect to use a projector as the main technological tool when teaching the participants. It will be connected to a computer where by the information will be in Power-Point form. Cameras and tape recorders will help in the recording of visual and audio testimonies of the participants. These will be posted on a number of media sites like YouTube for exposure. Audio on tape recorders will be instrumental on radio shows in case the participants are unable to make it for the show. The content will emphasize personal perception and views which will deem on the ignorance of masses as far as mental health is concerned.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
All workshops and trainings will be held at Befriender Uganda Offices located at Mulago National referral Hospital, SB Bossa mental health unit.
The training room seats up to 50 participants each meeting, has open aeration, and full installed with power outlets to easily connect the electric gadgets.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
The relationship is good because the organization renders its services to these people free of charge. They do not feel unwelcome at any point in time, they are given the freedom to visit the organization offices at any time they feel like it. Counseling services have no appointment schedules for our clients. It should be noted that suicide is, in most cases, as a result of a mental illness and due to failure to cope up with prevailing facts in one’s life. As much as we counsel these groups of people and fill their blood streams with medication we leave them still open to problems in the communities they live in. Beat the Heat project will be a crucial program in the participants’ everyday lives.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The turn up of participants is in question and it may inconvenience the dedicated team. This may arise from finances to transport them selves from wherever they may be staying to the training grounds.Since some of the participants are on drugs there may arise inconsistency in attendance. Most of the time they have been complaining of drugs being too strong and the side effects do not allow them to wake up in time and go to work. Some of the beneficiaries may be computer illiterate and while some may lack access to new technology and tools such as recorders and cameras and the internet. Transport refund and refreshments will always be provided to the participants at each meeting. This will be the best way motivate attendance on a regular basis.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Sign up forms and consent forms will be used to track the enrollment Attendances of the participants in the fellowships will be recorded regularly.
Pre-tests and post-test shall be carried out at the beginning and end of the project to assess levels of understanding and track impact. Blog views will be evaluated and checked regularly; social network pages like facebook will also be monitored and evaluated. Comments will be expected and appreciated. They will determine how our work is perceived. Attainment of a full number of project target beneficiaries who will sign up for the program and actually participate to the end will define our success. Ability of the mental health service users to monitor their own situation through consistent journal and diary recording will be utilized.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
June: Designing/ development and production of project materials, Capacity building of all project staff, enrollment and sign up of beneficiaries, Selection of participants
July: Capacity building workshops for project beneficiaries, and Case-line survey/ pre-test, role assignments and allocation of specific support staff to each team of beneficiaries.
August: Month training sessions and success story trucking and sharing through media posts begins. Quarterly report writing and success story tracking.
October: Support supervision, home visits and news posting continues, monthly journals and diaries monitoring.
November: Focus groups will be expected respectively to share their experiences and knowledge acquired in the few weeks at the training.
December: Monitoring and half terms project report writing (6 months) and dissemination.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
No Particular Qty Rate Cost US $
1. Development production and printing of project materials
Journals 30 1 93.8
Dairies 30 1 93.8
Training manuals 10 1 62.5
User manual for beneficiaries 40 1 100
Pre-test and post-test questionnaires 30 1 6.3
2. Three days In-house capacity building for all support workers (6 people to be trained)
Flip charts 3 1 37.5
Markers 2Pkt 1 8.4
Masking tape 2 rolls 1 2.5
Note books 6 1 5
File folders 6 1 3.8
Refreshments 6 3days 12.5
Facilitation allowance 3 3days 112.5
3. Beneficiaries training workshops for three days
Note books 30 1 25
Pens 1bx 1 4.2
File folders 30 1 18.8
Markers 2bx 1 8.4
Flip chart 3 1 37.5
Video and photography 1 3 days 187.5
4. Monthly support supervision meetings half day meeting
Refreshments 30 10 Mo 250
Transport refund 30 10 Mo 625
Utilities 1 12Mo 150
Stationary 1 12Mo 250
Talk time 1 12Mo 200
Internet 1 12Mo 175
TOTAL: US$ 2470
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
For the success of this project we request for capacity building to our support team on how to optimally implement the usage of citizen media.
Partnership with other organizations in closely similar fields of health suggested by Raising Voices would also be significant to the success of this project.
Donation of technical supplies like computers to the project would also ensure a remarkable success to the project.