INTRODUCTION OF THE PROJECT
Mental health is a major public health concern yet neglected despite a large proportion of youth experiencing mental health problems. Mental health problems have a significant global impact.300 million people are going through it and have suffered from depression in 2015, making the condition the largest contributor to global disability, causing 7.5% of the total years lived with disability. Anxiety disorders additionally caused 3.4% to live with a disability. Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), including Tanzania, appear to bear much of this burden; four out of five people suffering from mental disorders, such as depression and substance abuse, live in Low or Middle-Income Countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depressive disorders affect 4.1% of the population and that anxiety disorders affect 3% in Tanzania. About 10.7%-21.1% of youth have mental health issues (y. Wei, et al 2017), yet they have no one to run to since families and community hardly understand them, leading to more suicide cases amongst youths. Also, it is estimated that the lost economic output due to mental illnesses between 2011 and 2030 will be $16.3 trillion globally.
In collaboration with Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) through the School 2030 project, Tanzania Youth Coalition (TYC) has addressed this challenge to Tanzania youth aged 17-24 living in Dar es salaam since it’s the region with a high estimated number of people having mental health issues, especially the young generation. The project pilot reached total of 32 youth from Temeke Municipal directly and 200 indirectly to the community at large through flyers.
Name of the project
The project was named KITAA which is the acronym of Kijana Tambua Afya ya Akili and in English means youth get knowledge about mental health.
Scope and time of the pilot of the project
This pilot was conducted in five months (November to March) and covered six Temeke Municipal wards namely Makangarawe, Keko, Miburani, Tandika, Temeke and Kurasini.
Raising awareness of mental health among the youth of 17-24 years of age in Temeke district.
Understanding depression and the of use excessive alcohol as the result of unstable mental health.
Understanding stereotypes on mental health and discrimination against people going through mental health issues.
Ensuring participants understand stress, causes of stress, indicators of stress, and how to overcome it.
Pechakucha presentation: Was used to create awareness of mental health issues among young people, through animated stories and picture tells (storytelling).
Mentorship platform for 32 youth from Temeke Municipal: Where a psychologist mentored youth and support the TYC team to raise awareness and empower youth on how
to address mental health problems twice per month.