This year, we have started getting enquiries from programmes wanting to introduce or strengthen the elements of well-being, building resilience and ‘mental health’… and they wondered what we are doing in this regard.
Perhaps the closest we have got to this in recent years is the lifeskills programme we developed for Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. We called this programme Safe, Strong and Smiling and you can find out more about it here.
One of our close associates wrote a lovely storybook for our collection on grief called, A Stone is a Strange Thing. You can find more details about that here and apply for a free download.
These enquiries led us to look at some of the work of Stan Kutcher and the teen mental health programme (Canada) and the version of the teen mental health programme that they publish and that has been adapted for Malawi. Click here for more on their work in Africa. This programme involves Farm Radio (Malawi) and it has seen some positive results re: improving mental health and well-being.
We know that children’s well-being and resilience is fundamental to the success of physical health orientated work. Children for Health was built upon an understanding that we need to take a ‘life skills approach’ and ‘well-being’ and resilience is such a big part of this. A life skills approach to health education with empowerment and with family and community outreach characterises the technical work we do with partners.
But, rather like we looked at ‘Lifeskills’ as a separate package (see our work on life skills here), we think that we will now start examining well-being and reliance too.
The whole area of Mental Health is probably a stretch too far outside our expertise for now but we are beginning to start work on a second ‘100’ messages for children to learn and share – and this time the focus will be on well-being and resilience.
Please do get in touch if your interested in joining an advisory group as we slowly develop this focus though the year.