Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the normal stressors of life have become more than bearable for a few vulnerable populations, that can result in chronic stress. If this chronic stress goes unattended or unidentified, it can lead to long term mental health problems, thereby reducing the productivity of the community people.
Hence, an overall approach is required to address the mental health issues at the community level, which is possible only when the local level stakeholders are sensitised about the issue and they advocate for the need of mental health activities at the local level. A one day orientation session was successfully conducted in the Paanchkhal municipality on 31 January 2021 with the collaboration of Sambhavya Foundation (a pioneering organization in school mental health). The interaction with cabinet members and office staffs helped us relay information about mental health and sensitized them to lobby for more activities at the local level with an aim to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and also introduce activities to support mental health of the community people.
To ensure the sustainability of the awareness sessions, GFF Nepal team has also planned and coordinated for a day long training to the local health workers. So, that they are equipped with the knowledge to identify those in need of professional help on time and can refer them to appropriate health centers at the local level.
Mental Health Awareness Session
by Minket Lepcha, Nepal Local Volunteer