Initiative Update

EVALUATING A MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS CAMPAIGN WITH WOMEN IN MY COMMUNITY

Marie Abanga
Posted July 21, 2021 from Cameroon

EVALUATING A MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS CAMPAIGN WITH WOMEN IN MY COMMUNITY

 

On Saturday the 17th of July, our founder presented a report on evaluating a mental health awareness campaign with women in her community. She had done this campaign between 2018 to 2020 in a bit to get women to normalize the care about their mental health. Her presentation had for table of content:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

• ABSTRACT & AIM

• METHODOLOGY

• FINDINGS

• RECOMMENDATIONS

• IMPACT

PROFESSIONAL & ORGANIZATION GROWTH

Abstract: mental health and emotional wellbeing are one of the significant non-communicable disease (NCDs) categories that are a leading cause of death and disability for African women – Cameroonian women inclusive. The covid-19 pandemic has only made matters worse for women, many of whom are experiencing more violence due to the lockdown and the challenges therefrom. Thus, this affects their mental health disproportionately with often accompanying challenges to access treatment and care due to stigma. Stigma prevents us from information and help; awareness about mental health leads us to have knowledge about mental health challenges and disorders, what to do and where to get help.

Her research questions where:

1. Why are women facing more mental health challenges than men?

2. Why are women facing challenges to access mental health services?

3. What information do these women have at their disposal to begin with?

4. Do they actually believe in mental health especially at the grassroots level or do they really believe mental health challenges are caused by spiritual attacks and superstitious practices?

 

The aims of the research were:

1. Evaluate the two years mental health awareness campaign she carried out;

2. Explore the impacts of the campaign;

3. Share these findings with GMHPD to inform a strategy for more robust mental health awareness and advocacy in Cameroon;

4. Design better strategic goals for her organization H4AB with respect to its focus are on mental and mental ill-health.

 

The findings from her research were:

From cycle 1-

 The Questionnaires; (impressed to participate, willing to participate further, concise with their answers). 10 questions varying from the reason for their interest in her campaign, general awareness of mental health and thoughts on women’s mental health in general.

 

From cycle 2 -

The interviews; (more in-depth, we are more alike in our womanhood and human experiences than we ever care to admit)

The three questions for all the participants were:

 1. What do you think about your mental health?

 2. How do you take care of your mental health?

 3. What do you think about woman’s mental health?

From cycle 3-

 The focus group; (focus on recommendations for her organization as well as for other stakeholders).

Two main question arose from the focus group:

1. What could women do to improve all of this lack of awareness and inaction for themselves and others women?

2. What did women have to stop doing to take better care of their mental health and encourage other women to do the same?

The recommendations from the research made on the mental health campaign on women in her community were:

1. Need for a more robust approach to mental health awareness and sensitization; (WHO quality right); need for more collaborative engagements by different organizations for outreach and impact;

2. Need for women to champion the different campaigns and inspire, motivate and encourage others by their own self-care journeys; need to step up the imperativeness of peer supports if we are to shun stigma and tap into alternative methods of mental health care and support;

3. Need for a community based mental health care support center. (CRPD).

The impacts noticed from the campaign are that:

1. People pay attention progressively to what I had to say;

2. she has received over 500 chats/ calls/ emails in the past two years from people sharing their experiences with her;

3. she has been invited to over 50 events especially online to talk about mental health, her campaign and her own lived experience with domestic abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder;

4. Her organization Hope for the abused and battered is more credible and our Facebook page now has 1000 followers, and there is hope for further growth through global strategic partnerships;

5. The participants in this projects made commitments to step up their mental health care and so did she. Using her lived experience all the way featured change maker.

The campaign was successful and helpful in the community and H4AB thinks that more and betters campaigns like this should be launch our society to create awareness and synthesis.

Kindly email our organization at: [email protected]

Visit our website www.hope4abusedbattered.com

Kindly email her at: [email protected]

Website: www.marieabanga.com

Give her a call/WhatsApp at +237698914754

Report written by my sister Mbiaoh Sonita intern office Assistant at Hope for the Abused and Battered

How many people have you impacted since your last update?

300

Comments 9

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Nini Mappo
Jul 21
Jul 21

Wow Marie, I'm reading this research brief and thinking: "who would have thunk it besides the 'total boss attitude towards mental healt' MAG herself?"
Now we are talking evidence-based mental health practice! Kudos girl, keep blazing ;)

Marie Abanga
Jul 27
Jul 27

Awwwwwwwwww dearest Nini,

Thank you so much

Indeed I will keep up with some research work for we do need evidence based analogies just as much

Cgbidi
Jul 23
Jul 23

Great work Marie. Thanks for your help and the mental health training/awareness.

Marie Abanga
Jul 27
Jul 27

Hello dear C,

Thank you so much for the encouragement. We are in this together

megsmueller
Jul 23
Jul 23

Hello Marie dear. How are you doing. Thank you for this very important insight...shoo I was answering as I went along. This is an eye-opener to many who are suffering in silence. Thank you for your work!

Marie Abanga
Jul 27
Jul 27

Dear Meg,

Thank you so much for the encouragement. Yes we need to know we are not alone and that we mustn't suffer in silence.

megsmueller
Jul 28
Jul 28

I agree!
Much love to you.

Beth Lacey
Aug 02
Aug 02

Wow! This is really great, Marie. So many people can benefit from this.

Marie Abanga
Aug 08
Aug 08

Dear Beth,

Yes thank you so much I will definitely continue the research and see how global my findings go to create much needed change starting form our communities