Best Projects 2020 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
FiRsT: Intervening in a Mental Health Crisis
Explain your project in details:
FiRsT: Intervening in a Mental Health Crisis is a mental health intervention that teaches laypeople how to offer support to someone experiencing a mental health crisis. FiRsT is a psycho-social intervention being delivered in non-clinical settings by laypeople. Lay people will learn how to: Recognize someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Provide initial support during the crisis. Guide someone to seek appropriate professional help and other supports. FiRsT will make laypeople feel more comfortable managing a mental health crisis situation. FiRsT will also build mental health literacy for laypeople by helping them to identify, understand, and respond to signs of a mental health condition. In the long term, FiRsT will build greater confidence in laypeople when providing help to others and also increase the likelihood that laypeople will advise people to seek professional help. HOW FiRsT WORKS: 1. Mary registers for a FiRsT: Intervening in a Mental Health Crisis (Depression Guidelines) online training to help her sibling during a depressive episode. 2. After taking the online training, Mary is more knowledgeable and better equipped to respond to her sibling during a depressive episode. 3. Mary is able to avert a crisis situation from escalating and offers guidance to her sibling in seeking appropriate professional help and other supports to deal with depression. ADVANTAGES OF FiRsT: 1. It is an online Mental Health First Aid training. 2. It empowers laypeople to intervene with someone experiencing a mental health crisis. 3. It works together with and supports community members in making changes in their community. 4. It builds up community strengths and resources.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
It is estimated that in one year, 600 laypeople will have been trained to be FiRsT responders intervening in various mental health crisis situations. FiRsT will strengthen the capacity of laypeople thus making them key partners in helping minimize the occurrence of substance abuse and mental health conditions among individuals and communities. This means that individuals with mental health conditions will receive timely help during a mental health crisis and guidance on seeking appropriate professional help thus enabling them to be more proactive in improving their mental wellness and reduce the stigma of help-seeking. Evaluation of the FiRsT intervention will be conducted twice a year to assess its effectiveness in addressing mental health crisis situations and also to improve the intervention.
Sustainability and future plans
KEY PARTNERS: Youth Workers; Community Health Volunteers; Community Health Workers; Community-based Organizations; Faith-based Organizations; Human Resources and Training Departments; Counseling Centers (Colleges and Universities). KEY ACTIVITIES: Research; Intervention Development/Adaptation; Online Training; Intervention Evaluation. KEY RESOURCES: Training Material; Online Platform. VALUE PROPOSITION: Intervention Development/Adaptation; Community Education - provide information to community members that empowers them to act on behalf of themselves and others; Community Development - facilitate community efforts to identify mental health issues and resources for collective action; Participatory Community Research - use research-based information to promote community learning and collective empowerment, and to translate research in a way that has utility for all relevant stakeholders; Program Evaluation - integrate evaluation findings into ongoing intervention improvement. CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS: Affordable cost of online training; Access to mental health information. CHANNELS: Direct - phone, in-person; Online - email, website, Facebook, LinkedIn. CUSTOMER SEGMENTS: Men and Women who are 18+ years old and are not mental health professionals. COST STRUCTURE: Communication - phone, Internet; Domain Renewal. REVENUE STREAMS: Training Fees; Grant Funding.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am 38 years old. I have BA in Psychology with a Minor in Chemical Dependency Counseling and MA in Community Psychology. I believe that the most effective way to promote individual and community mental health is to work together with community members; offer support to community members in making changes rather than telling them what to do; build community strengths and resources; create conditions that are empowering rather than foster dependence. For the past three and a half years, I have been coordinating a Mental Health Program in my church called Love Your Mind. The purpose of the Love Your Mind Program is to advocate for mental health awareness by providing a safe space where young people can share their experiences, offer encouragement and emotional support to each other, learn about practical strategies that promote mental wellness, and get referrals for more help (if needed). The strategies used that build up on the Love Your Mind Program include: THRIVE Support Group - meetings happen twice a month. Tu Ongee Crisis Chat Service - this is an online chat service that provides free, confidential, anonymous support and information to teens and young adults in crisis. Tu Ongee is a Swahili word that means "Let's Talk". You will find it on the Telegram App, user name @Tu_Ongee. Mental Health Awareness Month - an awareness campaign that takes place in September whose main goal is to get the congregants to learn more about matters mental health, pay attention to their mental well-being, take the necessary steps in taking good care of their minds, and to encourage them to reach out to others who might be experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health Forums - they provide capacity building for teens, young adults, and older adults.