AUW Celebrates Young People Mental Health

 

October 10 2018 Ahfad University for Women celebrated World Mental Health Day addressing Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.

The School of Psychology and Preschool Education instigated the theme THRIVE: an initiative for the youth by the youth in an attempt to alleviate stigma, shame, taboo. While also allowing the youth in social media initiatives and start-ups to lead in the conversation to change the narrative in improving young people’s mental health across multiple social media platforms. Recognising this opportunity, SoP invited various young speakers from diverse backgrounds to reflect on their personal experiences in the use of social media and finding the right balance to address mental health, muted stigma, advocacy, and support, ushering us into the arena where e-therapy prevails. 

 

Dinan and Rawan Ali Yousif

Ask Dee and Ru

“We had nobody to listen to our problems, So my sister and I decided to create a Facebook page where young people like us find listening ears”

E-Therapy in Sudan

Certified therapists Dinan and Rawan provide free therapy and consultations to social media users (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Snapchat) aged 15-28. With 2.878 followers on Facebook alone, who have access to psychoeducational videos, therapy and 24/7 hotline to address different mental health issues mainly depression and anxiety all within their fingertips. This introduced a way out for youth muzzled by fear of judgement and labelling. And eventually, upon page users’ request they opened a clinic that embraces group therapy sessions along with one-on-one sessions. 

Tala Abdulgadir Ali,

Doctor

“I experienced death several times a day and no one knew”

My Story with Mental Illness

Disregarding comments on a Facebook post of a girl looking for a solution to her mental health problem provoked Talal to pour his heart out about his 10 years struggle with panic attacks and recently depression. His post not only informed his parents with his condition, rather encouraged many youth to reach out to him for guidance and information about proper help venues. This lead to the birth of a Facebook support group and turned him to a mental health advocate broadcasting “You are not alone, it is important to seek professional help, it is important to understand the nature of your mental illness”

Hala Taha Elmalik

Psychiatrist

Mental Health Awareness in Sudan https://youtu.be/Ac4mVeBSx84

“The aim is not to have zero mentally ill people, rather zero stigmas”

Hala is spreading the word about metal illness and trying to silence the voice of stigma by making the first documentary featuring real Sudanese patients talking about their brush with mental illness. 

Fathi Abdulwahid

TOGETHER Platform

“Lay counselling and Narrative Theatre allowed me to provide support to many of my Eritrean and Ethiopian peers”

Youth for Youth

As a member of TOGETHER Platform (community champions trained by Ahfad Trauma Center to provide psychosocial support to youth), Fathi offered support to his peers in the Eritrean and Ethiopian communities. Applying his lay counselling skills he was able to identify and refer individuals needed professional support. And along with his colleagues the platform used Narrative Theatre (a modality of solving problems that fortifies the social fabric through available resources) to solve problems unique to them as a second generation refugees while broadening their platform by training more of their peers (ages 18-25) in lay counselling.

Finding a silver lining was a key objective at this years’ mental health day for the sake of our youth.

Awe-inspiring they are willing to tame the beast of mental illness, to shed the stigma and judgment that muffles their hushed cries for help.

Thanks to the youth who have shown us a way today. And for many more generators to come.

Diverting social media positively they have shown us how with a click we access therapy, support, join the mental health awareness movement, and download mental health free applications.

Let’s THRIVE

 

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