Name of the activity: M.U.L.L.E. -mental health project
Country/NMO: FiMSIC Finland
Program: Mental Health
Contact information: contact [email protected] to get in touch with the Activity Coordinator
Type of the activity: Continuous Activity
Focus area: Mental Health promotion and Prevention, Children’s Mental Health
Sustainable Development Goals addressed: SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being)
M.U.L.L.E. is FiMSIC’s educational mental health project, in which medical students give mental health-related classes to elementary school eighth-graders in pairs. The purpose of the classes is to discuss topics related to mental health together with adolescents using different interactive methods. The classes aim to break misunderstandings related to mental health and to deal with different topics around it, such as emotional skills. An important part is also guiding adolescents to seek help.
In Finland, the prevalence of mental disorders is 20-25%, and they are the most common reason for disability pension. Most of the mental health problems develop in adolescence, before the age of 25. Poor knowledge and stigma about mental health are known to have negative impact on attitudes to adolescents with mental disorders, on their self-esteem and help-seeking. However, peer-educational interventions executed in schools have been observed to be effective to improve these problems.
- General population
- Medical students
The main objective is prevent mental health problems in adolescents by adding their knowledge about mental health, decreasing stigma and giving information on how to seek help in at least 20 different schools in every year. In addition, project’s objective is to train medical students for this project once a year
– The number of the visits made in middle school (at least 20 per year).
– The number of the adolescents reached (at least 400 per year).
– Received feedback from pupils [Average rating for the usefulness of the sessions to be over 3 (on a scale 1-5, where 5 is very useful)].
– The number of the new medical students trained (at least 25 per year)
We have designed a mental health project where medical students deliver interactive mental health sessions in middle schools. These peer educational sessions lead by two trained medical students last 45-90 minutes with 20 to 25 students attending in one session. The sessions includes methods regarding following topics: common misconceptions related to mental health, emotional skills, stress management, school bullying, influence of the social media, domestic abuse and the most common mental health problems. All methods are interactive and encourage adolescents to discuss openly about the topics. In every session, medical students advise how the pupils can seek help. In the beginning of each session the term of “safe space” is introduced to the class and its principles is followed through the session. Each year, a training weekend is organized where new volunteering medical students are trained to deliver these sessions.
Plans for evaluation:
– The number of the visits and reached pupils are recorded to google sheet with the help of the local committees’ M.U.L.L.E. project officers.
– To evaluate the quality of the middle school visits, feedback is collected immediately after each session from the adolescents by a questionnaire including the rating of the sessions’ usefulness and a question about what they learned. In addition, open feedback is requested.
– To evaluate the quality of the medical student’s training weekend, a feedback questionnaire is carried out. Also the number of the trained medical students is recorded to quantitative evaluation.
Association for Mental Health in Tampere Region (body of the Finnish association for mental health). They helped us to create the methods used in the sessions.
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