Name of the activity: Mind Matters

Country/NMO: Kuwait (KuMSA)

Program: Mental Health

 

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Education

 

General description:

“Mind Matters; The Challenge”
A mental health symposium discussing mental illness and stigma through an interactive and intuitive way.
Event Activities:
1. Ice breaker: an activity like the game “Heads up” where the audience divides into partners and each partner has a particular mental disorder card, and his partner has to say stigmatized phrases pertaining to that disorder to let him guess what it is. This leads to them learning and acknowledging the stigma around each disorder.
2. The Challenge: s series of activities and competitions with Dr. Juliet Dinkha (psychologist), including Jeopordy. Audience was divided into teams competing for points on each activity. They revolve around mental health trivia and disorders.
3. Ambassador of “Taqabal تقبل ” campaign spoke about their awareness campaign on mental illness and stigma.
4. “Anxiety and Depression”. A lecture by Dr. Mohammad AlSuwaidan (psychiatrist)
5. “Stress-Management” workshop with Dr. Naif AlMutawwa (psychologist)
6. Artist Maryam Jeragh talks about her art and her mental disorder.
7. Awards and wrap-up

Focus area:

Mental Health advocacy and public awareness

Problem statement:

According to WHO, 1 in 5 people will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime. In the case of Kuwait, there has been an increase in mental illness, primarily depression. Out of the mere four million people that populate the country, 200,000 have been diagnosed. There was a major leap from 2010 to 2011 and rates increased by a whopping 40 percent. In addition to the lack of awareness on mental health and illness, there is a lot of stigma regarding the issue, with a large proportion of society regarding mental illness as a non-real disorder that is not as credible as any other physical illness.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

Target group: Medical Students and community (men and women ages 13+). They were the attendees of the event. Community is comprised of all ages and nationalities.
Beneficiary: mentally ill individuals and those at risk of mental illness. Since the event is done to raise awareness on mental health awareness and reducing stigma, so that later on those who are diagnosed will have a stronger support system and be more open about their disorder.
The general public will benefit as well, having now learned more about mental health and raising more awareness on mental disorders and stigmatized individuals.

Objectives and indicators of success:

– tailor the event to appeal to both medical students and the general public, young and old. We wanted an audience that included both portions of the community.
indicators of success: according to our attendance record, 65 medical students and 55 of the general public signed up. of the general public, about 15% was under 18 and about 85% above 18, so it included both age groups.
– raise awareness and enhance the outlook of people towards mental health and awareness and meaning of stigma.
indicators of success: we sent surveys to the attendees.
results: 88% felt that the event raised awareness on the issue. Another statistic showed that 52% believed that the event affected and enhanced their outlook on mental disorders and stigma. 44% believed that they already had the correct outlook.
– Increase their knowledge in comparison to prior to the event.
indicators of success: we sent surveys to the attendees.
results: prior to the event, 68% had “some” knowledge on mental health/illness and 18% had “little” knowledge.
after the event, on a scale of 1-10, 72% of attendees chose 8 and above for [how beneficial and educational was the event?]

Methodology:

For the first objective, we marketed about our event through all types of social media, (twitter, instagram, snapchat, TV, and WhatsApp broadcasts.).This way we got to appeal and target all the targeted audiences.
For the second and third objectives, we organized a whole schedule of activities and workshops for the event that would achieve these objectives. There was a competition activity that attendees will learn about mental health after completing it. There were sessions on mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, given by psychiatrists and psychologists. There was a stress-management workshop given by a psychologist. In addition, we invited an artist suffering from a mental illness who showcased a gallery of her artwork that conveyed the life of a person with mental disorders. All these activities were done to increase the attendees’ knowledge and awareness and normalize mental illness.

Plans for evaluation:

We kept a complete record of our attending population and their information. We sent surveys to the attendees to evaluate the outcomes.