Name of the activity: SEROTONIN

Country/NMO: Slovenia (SloMSIC)

Program: Mental Health

 

Type of the activity: Education

 

General description:

Serotonin is an activity implemented on a local level. an expected date of it’s start is 1. 3. 2018 and en expected date of it’s end 31. 12. 2018. Serotonin provides education on health issues for specific societal groups in the form of projects or conferences, especially on mental health. It is a continuous activity that has already existed before. The activity is primarily focused on the destigmatization of mental ilnesses and having greater empathy as well as understanding towards the mentally ill.The project raises awareness regarding the importance of promotion of mental health among all health workers, especially doctors and medical students which are also the project’s primary target group. Secondary target group are students of other faculties and the res tof the healtcare workers. One of the main goals of the project aare raising the awareness of medical students regarding patients with mental health issues, increasing student’s empathy and understanding of mental diseases and disorders and of course helping students to cope with stress, anxiety and other mental distresses. The project will educate students by organizing educational lectures and different booth stands to promote self-care and reduce stigmas.

Focus area:

Mental Health among the general population

Problem statement:

Project Serotonin is primarily focused on the destigmatization of mental illnesses and having greater empathy as well as understanding towards mentally ill individuals. The project raises awareness regarding the importance of promotion of mental health among medical students, doctors and other health workers, utilizing different forms of educations. A part of the project also raises awareness about drug addiction. Stigmatization of mental illness and substance abuse can have a negative effect on a patient by discouraging him to seek professional help and needed treatment.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

Primary target group are medical students, students from other health-related fields interested in working for the department of psychiatry and psychology students from the University of Maribor. Secondary target group are students from other faculties, doctors of medicine and other healthcare workers, especially nurses as well as healthcare workers from the psychiatric areas. Better understanding and empathy will enhance communication with patients who have mental diseases or people suffering from mental disorders.

Objectives and indicators of success:

• Increasing empathy and understanding of medical students on the topic of mental diseases, disorders and treatment principles; success indicators – educational lectures, pre- and post-survey on understanding of the topic, number of students present on the lecture (attendance report).
• Increasing awareness of medical students regarding the actual medical work with patients having mental diseases and disorders by presenting them real cases and experiences by psychiatrists; success indicators – connecting with University Medical Centre Maribor, Department of Psychiatry, pre- and post-survey.
• Helping students coping with stress, anxiety and other mental distresses by promoting strengthening of mental health through social media and various booth stands at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor; success indicators – response of the students either on social media or in person, students seeming more in control about their distresses.
• Increasing awareness on safety and consequences of drug use; success indicators – educational lectures, pre- and post-survey, number of those present.
• Organizing an anti-stress booth stand at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor before the beginning of an exam period in June 2018; success indicator – number of visitors at the booth stand.
• Organizing at least four educational lectures on the topic of mental health or drug use until December 2018; success indicators – survey, attendance report.
• With intention of exchange, finding at least one foreign project of the same topic regarding mental health and similar objectives; success indicator – inquiry, active search on social media and on the web in general.
• Increasing the number of followers on social media (Facebook, Tumblr) until the end of the year 2018; success indicator – promotion and active posting of the latest news, keeping track of the followers.

Methodology:

The project will strive to promote the importance of mental health, finding help and self-care, talk openly about the issue and educate medical students on the matter of the topic by organizing a variety of educational lectures, lead by experts and by organizing different kinds of booth stands at the Faculty of Medicine in Maribor with intention of promoting self-care as well as reducing stigmas. By actively promoting mental health on social media, we will be able to reach students all over the country and other interested people. Finally, yet importantly, part of the project will be dedicated to promoting safety and consequences of drug use and other addictions by organizing educational lectures for students.

Plans for evaluation:

Members of the project will create a pre- and post- online survey for every organized educational lecture, in which we will observe understanding of the topic on mental health and consequently how the reduction of stigma was affected. Furthermore, we will include an extra survey for quality improvement, which will also involve suggestions for future lecture topics. At the end of the year, members of the project will discuss and analyze the project’s accomplishments, its critical points and suggestions for improvement as well as further development including dissemination.