Name of the activity: The Mind, Heart & Body Project

Country/NMO: Malta (MMSA)

Program: Healthy Lifestyles & Non-Communicable Diseases

 

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Education

 

General description:

We are aiming to introduce and encourage a more holistic approach to health & wellbeing by integrating multiple health issues together with different public health advocates associated to the theme of each particular Mind, Heart & Body event. This will instil a mentality where all health issues are important and inter related so they should all be given the attention they require. The success of the campaign will be gauged by the number of individuals reached and the feedback that they give us when followed up after the event.

Focus area:

Prevention of NCDs and Health Promotion

Problem statement:

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one killer both internationally as well as in Malta and accounted for 38% of all deaths locally in 2014.

Malta was named the most obese nation in Europe in 2016.

The Malta Crisis Team sees about 10 to 15 people suffering from depression every week

The one thing that all of these issues have in common is that they can all affect the same individual and moreover they can directly lead to each other. This is why we strived to approach these issues in a more holistic and complete manner, by integrating a variety of different issues into one event we are able to provide a more complete outlook on one’s health rather than isolating one health issue from another and trying to treat everything individually while ignoring other problems.

Integrating the mind, heart & body into one event helps to tackle each issue in a more constructive way. Mental health campaigns are generally focused on reducing the stigma related to mental health, yet these campaign are generally carried completely detached from other health issues, by integrating mental health into an event targeting other diseases too we are able to change a persons point of view on mental health since it is given as much importance as other health issues.

Our aim is to tackle issues related to the Mind, Heart & Body which are relevant to the time of year and any national issues and requirements present at the time to try and instil a more complete outlook on one’s health. This can translate to people leading healthier lifestyles with more consciousness regarding the effects of their lifestyle on all aspects of their wellbeing.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

Rather than limiting the campaign to a finite target audience we feel like this campaign should target the general public as a whole. Ranging from young children to adults. Seeing as the events will be held in public places the variety of people who would be in attendance is vast and this provides the perfect opportunity to target all age groups. The campaign can help to work on the prevention, control and in certain cases the cure of these diseases. There are many beneficiaries related to this campaign, namely the general public when they attend or pass by these events and our large number of social media followers who are all able to learn about mental health, cardiovascular and general health issues. These individuals can benefit from both the educational aspect of the campaign and also from the free health screenings which will be provided. Anybody with readings that raise any red flags can then be directed to the appropriate healthcare professionals, this can also help to identify issues such as high blood glucose, blood pressure and BMI in their earlier stages and can also help encourage individuals to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Objectives and indicators of success:

Goal: To tackle nationally relevant public health issues according to current situations and awareness days holistically by considering the whole mind, heart and body.
Sub-goal:
To organise one day event on the 1st October 2017 between 9am and 2pm in a public square combining world heart day (29th September), world mental health day (10th October) and world obesity day (11th October) which are all in close proximity.
Objectives:
To introduce a new mental health check and have a minimum of 50 participants for this during the event
To rack up at least 50km (and donate 1 euro per 1km) on a stationery bicycle as part of the international Cycle around the Globe initiative (by the International Association on Suicide Prevention) to encourage physical activity and relate this to mental health activity with all proceeds in the name of Suicide Prevention (mental health illness also kills)
To collect 15 ‘confessions’ from a whisper box open for the public to write any experiences related to their mental health
To reach at least 250 people through our event and collect a total of at least 750 readings from the health screenings of Blood glucose, blood pressure and BMI
To have at least 25 people participating in an open air Zumba class held in the morning of the event
Indicators of success: number of participants for mental health checks, number of km cycled and so money to be donated, number of confessions collected, number of people reached during event and readings collected, number of people participating in Zumba

Sub-goal:
To organise a holistic series of events related to Valentine’s Day focusing on relationships, loving one’s heart and sexual health as the three areas for mind,heart & body respectively

Objectives:
To reach at least 250 people by the end of our public event on the 17th February 2018 and collect a total of at least 750 readings from the health screenings of Blood glucose, blood pressure and BMI
To set up information stands tackling the issue of STIs and safe sex to reach a minimum of 50 participants during the event on the 17th february
To set up information stands during the event tackling the idea of healthy relationships and sex life (in terms of consent, assertiveness etc.)
To set up a social media campaign based on our message involving 3 infographics tackling each aspect of mind, heart and body and a video bringing them all together and reach at least 10,000 views in all.

Indicators of Success: number of people reached in event and information stands, number of people reached through social media posts

Methodology:

In line with the idea of the project, the methodology is a fluid one adapting to the need of the particular events and issues being tackled from the mind, heart and body perspective. In the case of the initial event which has already taken place, a team was constructed from the coordinators taking care of the mental health, Non-communicable diseases and healthy lifestyles campaign – so as to be able to have contributors from each aspect of the mind, heart and body for this activity.

Health Checks

The routine health checks were set up: blood glucose blood pressure and BMI. Results slips are prepared for all attendees for them to be able to keep track of readings or pass these on to any health care professionals if required.
A new health check was introduced – Perceived Stress Scale. This is a well known indicator of stress level established by Sheldon Cohen and we got this reviewed by specialists at the Richmond Foundation which is a mental health organisation and got their approval. More details about the PSS test and how it works can be found here: The idea was to have a new health check included and also written down on the results slips given to participants with their readings for all attendees to see and assimilate the idea that mental health and physical health are to be associated together and equally.

Zumba Class

A zumba class was sponsored by a certified Zumba Instructor who gave an open air Zumba class at the location of the public event in a local square. This was important so as to encourage physical exercise important for both physical health – specifically the CVDs and obesity being tackled during the event as well as mental health specifically stress being tackled during the vent.

Fundraising

A local gym sponsored the rental of stationery bike for a day and attendees were encouraged to cycle with every km amounting to 1 euro to be donated by MMSA towards a support programme by Richmond Foundation in the name of Suicide Prevention.

Whisper Box

A box was made available for attendees to share personal experiences related to mental health at their own discretion

Social Media

Social media was used to announce our activity, recruit volunteers from MMSA and

The idea is for Mind,Heart & body to be a continuous project with activity peaking according to awareness days or current issues. The initial activity took place on the 1st October bringing together World Heart Day (29th September) World Mental Health Day (10th October) and World Obesity Day (11th October) – planning began a month and a half in advance. The next activity in relation to Valentine’s Day will be taking place on the 17th February and preliminary meetings began on the 21st December with the Malta Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate with whom we’ll be collaborating with for these activities. As regards the methodology of this activity, the idea is to build on the impact and feedback received from the last event and work together with HPDP to recognise key problems in theme of Valentine’s day and work together to have a similar event structure with a different theme and a larger focus on outreaching and social media.

Plans for evaluation:

A variety of evaluation methods will be used to gauge the success of the activity.

Primarily to assess total reach of event a tally will be kept of the number of persons who interact with our event set up, physical tallies will be kept of individuals who approach health check stands by taking down the readings per person. We will also evaluate the effectiveness off any on site fitness classes such as the Zumba class by keeping a tall and collecting feedback from all participants that partake in the activity

For the screenings a database will be kept with all the readings that each person has taken, these will be compiled to gain insight into how many health checks were performed as well as the general out come of the tests, this will then ultimately be used to provide some statistics on the general results obtained from our testing. During this data collection exercise attendees can voluntarily pass on their email address which can then be used to send off a brief feedback form to gauge whether they found our screening and information stands useful.

Feedback will also be obtained via feedback forms that will be handed out to random attendees to the event and participants will also take on verbal feedback which ca be relayed to the organisers via a participants feedback form after the event.

Social media campaign impact will be gauged by a social media analysis of the insights of posts put out as a part of the campaign, impressions, video views etc. will help to lend a clear perspective as to whether our message is being spread effectively.

Fundraising activities success will be gauged by the total km cycled and so money donated to the charities and organisations of choice. The impact of the whisper box is based on the number of responses to it.