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

Published on July 12, 2020 um 20:22

Your title/position

Prevention Practitioner

Type of Enterprise


Year the ngo or company was founded


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.

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September 21, 2020 23:47

Your idea is great!

See things through till the end. Understand that there will be errors along the way, but if something doesn't work, try to figure out why and how before scrapping it.

September 20, 2020 21:36

Hello!!! I want to tell you that it is a great project, very original and of vital importance because mental health today is not a very approached topic, that is, it is not seen as something important. Taking into account the numbers of suicides, and of people who do not know how to deal with depression, your project can be done not only in your country, but throughout the world. Mental health does matter and it is good that there are people like you who want to put together a support team. Regards.

September 4, 2020 13:35

It is important to have a clear sense of mission. Think about who will it benefit, what difference will it make, and how are you going to go about it? It helps to determine the level of social impact in the short and long term and how it will be measured and evaluated. This will also help in reaching the right audience and identifying your marketing and networking strategies.

August 24, 2020 06:49

Many social entrepreneurs build cognitive dissonance into their business models. Their beneficiaries (usually low-income families) have little in common with their customers (usually high income). My advice to you is to develop a business model in which the customer is as close to the beneficiary as possible

August 21, 2020 13:55

Mental health crisis is very serious issue considering the low level of awareness it gives to the brain and without good mental health the decision making proces of individuals can always be faulted

August 20, 2020 08:23

Hello! I'm enjoying my time reading your project here. It is indeed very interesting and insightful. Personally, I consider mental health is a very important issue that we need to address seriously, and I really like your approach in solving this problem.

I believe that through your project, more people will be educated in helping themselves mentally, and I hope to see the world to be a better place. You really get my support and votes!

By the way, I'm looking for some comment and feedback for my project. Perhaps, you could drop by and share your thoughts? :)

Here is the link to my project

August 14, 2020 13:30

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is unlikely to be purely your social mission. You need to find a way to capture how your social mission is related to the quality of your product, which is not always easy or straightforward, and good luck with your idea.

August 9, 2020 18:31

Most social entrepreneurs think big, and that\'s a good thing. You\'re someone who wants to impact the world in the most meaningful way possible.

August 4, 2020 21:02

Thank you all for your insightful comments. They have given me things to think about and avenues to consider. Thank you for taking your time to read through my project as well.

August 4, 2020 18:43

After reading about the project you proposed, I would like to say that it is a wonderful and fantastic project that support mental health which is a priority for a healthy living and it also goes in line with the goals of the United Nation.

The Sdg's are a collection of 17 global goals designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Please try to enrol for the Brain Versus Capital Course and also the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Course in the campus so as to make your project environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Please vote and comment for my idea too in the campus community "Promoting a healthy lifestyle" ( as it aims to achieve SDG 1, 2, 3 and 8

August 4, 2020 03:21

While embarking on a quest to change the world may feel lonely, it is important to remember that social entrepreneurship is a team sport, and other people are willing to help. Social entrepreneurs need to stay open and attentive to potential partnership and collaboration opportunities. In many cases, collaborative initiatives and joint-ventures can achieve social/business goals much more effectively than solo endeavors.

July 24, 2020 18:03

@First: Intervening in a mental health crisis, your project assisting in sensitizing people about mental health issues is wonderful. Your idea is wonderful. To add to my earlier comment on your project, I am sharing with you questions from one of our trainings that can help in refining our ideas and projects

What business model will I follow to implement this idea?
What methodology or strategy will I use during different processes of implementing this idea?
Which are the processes I have to go through until the finalization of the idea?
What means or tools do I need to implement my idea?
Which are my potential collaborators, investors?

I honestly suggest that before you submit your idea or project, please and ask yourself these questions and even if you have submitted their project, do remember that we still have opportunity to refine our ideas and resubmit. I hope that you find this useful.

Also, please create time and take the campus online trainings as the trainings are there to help campus members understand what it is to be an entrepreneur.

Please consider supporting my idea with your votes and [email protected]

July 23, 2020 13:03

My advice Start small and build momentum, Being a social entrepreneur can be very difficult, you are constantly in a field dominated by changing dynamics, you will often face business challenges, and you have to start small and build your enterprise from the ground up. You must be resilient, realistic, and passionate about your goals and the impact you are trying to achieve.

July 15, 2020 07:46

Great [email protected] Mental health challenges are alarming and several factors are contribute to the hike in cases. Most prominent is peer pressure among young once following their developmental stages. in view of this, I suggest you include in your solution programmes that help young persons take inform decisions about whatever they want to da as well as avoiding risky behaviours. You may make more impacts if you collaborate and partner with the ministry of social welfare in your implementation. Weldone and best wishes on your implementation

July 14, 2020 08:57

Fantastic [email protected] First Mental Health. Issues of mental health are a great challenge in contemporary society. Mental issues cuts across geographical regions and boundaries your idea to help people learn how to take care of the mental victims is laudable. To help uou open up your idea I suggest the following:
1. Many young persons or adults engage in several risky behaviours that eventually lead to mental health issues without knowing, So I suggest you include in your solution, emphasize on prevention. By doing this you will take up lessons on preventing mental health issues as well as media sensitizations on behaviours likely to cause adults and the young ones mental health problems. I suppose that if people are awre of something, many of them will likely take measures not to have such problems.

Secondly, the online trainings are to help us understand how to go about our ideas and projects as campus memebrs so i suggest you create time to study and apply to your work. Weldone and best of luck in your implementation phase.

July 13, 2020 16:12

The idea is very innovative and meaningful. I am sure it will have a profound impact on our society and holistic living. Many congratulations for the same.
Best wishes,
Tamanna Dua
Founder and CEO