Changemaker: Karen Bisalomu
Country of Implementation: Malawi
Mental health in Malawi is an area of health that is not properly understood or embraced, developments are still underway. As such knowledge deficit on mental health is one big issue. Due to lack of mental health literacy a lot of people in Malawi don’t know how to take care of their mental health let alone promote it, or how to cope when faced with stressful situations as such we are having an increased number of depressed people and most of them end up committing suicide which of late has been increasing at an alarming rate. Stigma towards people suffering or have ever suffered from mental illness and those that have committed or attempted suicide is prevalent. In response to this Karen Bisalomu with help from a group of friends decided to conduct awareness campaigns on mental health, depression, suicide, and dangers of stigma towards those that are mentally ill, those that have attempted or committed suicide. These awareness campaigns will be conducted in 2 communities and 6 institutions (primary, secondary, and college/universities) in Blantyre Malawi from 16th July 2021-13th November 2021. Participants of these awareness campaigns will be students from various institutions of choice and community members, with ages ranging from 9-35. These participants will be equipped with knowledge of mental health and how to promote it, depression and how to recognize the signs where they can get help, signs of a person with suicidal ideations and the help they can get, why stigma is directed towards people with mental illness or those that attempted or committed suicide is bad. They will also be taught on crisis interventions, self-esteem enhancement, and the development of coping skills and ways of coping.