JDI MENTAL HEALTH
Much like the blood donation arm, JDI Mental Health addresses Sustainable Development Goal 3 by providing psychosocial support services such as counselling, group therapy and mental health safeguarding tools.
UNBURDEN GROUP THERAPY SESSIONS
In November 2019, JDI held its first monthly Unburden Group Therapy Session with the vision of getting as many people as possible signed up from the public to attend and have a forum to unburden and just TALK, with free access to a mental health expert. The Unburden Group Therapy session is the flagship project in the mental health arm of JDI and other projects are drawn out from it. Between 2019 and 2022, JDI has organised 19 sessions for the general public and 28 sessions for specific groups of people such as sickle cell warriors, cancer champions, persons with disabilities, those with substance abuse disorder, sexual and gender-based violence survivors (SGBV), first responders to SGBV cases etc between 2021and 2022.
STORIES FROM UNBURDEN
The first session of Unburden Group Therapy which was organised for persons with disabilities in Karmajiji Disability Colony of the FCT led the team to develop a component of the mental health initiative called Stories from Unburden. The goal was to capture compelling stories of challenges and angles for advocacy from selected participants of the group therapy sessions who had consented to sharing their stories on camera. Stories from Unburden utilizes storytelling as a human-centred approach to advocacy by having the subjects share their own stories and present unique gaps directed at specific subsets of society who need to address those gaps. Since March 2021 when this component commenced, 22 stories have been captured so far.
TY DANJUMA FOUNDATION STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
In February 2023, JDI officially signed a 5-year strategic partnership with T.Y Danjuma Foundation, thereby securing her third grant.
The goal of this project is to promote improved curriculum delivery in Nigerian public secondary schools in the FCT, Kogi, Kwara, Niger and Kaduna states.
To achieve this, JDI will:
Implement teacher trainings
- Provide a one-day basic mental healthcare service to all participating teachers
- Establish a Telegram community for the teachers
- Encourage step-down sessions for teachers who did not participate in the training
- Provide some mental health learning resources in the libraries
- Produce advocacy documentaries and engage the media
- Facilitate a feedback session between the teachers and relevant government agencies and ministries.
The Wellness Toolkit is a self-help tool adapted from the Wellness Toolbox based on the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) developed by Mary Ellen Copeland. The Toolkit has been modified by JDI as a customised tool that is deployed to help participants to create a personalised list of practical ‘tools’ that they can use when they are triggered or stressed. The goal is to promote self-awareness, individual responsibility for emotional stability and help participants who sign up to improve their coping mechanisms. JDI deploys the Wellness Toolkit to only groups of individuals and has so far done this for team members of Max FM/TVC News, Abuja and partnered with PAGED Initiative to lead a selected group of journalists, drawn from various media houses in the FCT, through it.
INCLUSION FIRST PROJECT
In 2022, JDI received its first-ever grant from The Leprosy Mission Nigeria (TLMN), to participate in the internationally-funded Inclusion First project by Liliane Fonds. The resultant project was Unburden Group Therapy Sessions and Advocacy for Youths with Disabilities and their Family Members. The project goal was to provide basic mental healthcare for youths with disabilities and their family members while engaging in advocacy through media engagements, production of Stories from Unburden and advocacy walks in Abuja and Lagos, respectively. Through this project, JDI facilitated 20 Unburden Group Therapy Sessions for six (6) clusters of youths with disabilities namely: the visually impaired, the hearing impaired, persons affected by leprosy, persons with dwarfism, sickle cell warriors and persons with albinism. Fourteen (14) of these sessions held in Abuja and eight (8) in Lagos.
Following the conclusion of the project in December 2022, JDI launched a report based on the data on challenges persons with disabilities face, their mental healthcare access as well as anxiety and depression assessments, with the aim of it being used as an advocacy tool. The study leading to the report showed that discrimination and stigma have a significant impact on the mental health of persons with disabilities.
JDI MENTAL HEALTH CLUB
The JDI Mental Health Club is an extracurricular club instituted by JDI to curb cultism, drug abuse, negative peer pressure and bullying so as to expose teenagers and adolescents to mental health from early on. The club was conceptualised after the World Mental Health Day (2021) Awareness Project held at Nile University of Nigeria and including 161 public secondary school students and 28 of their teachers and counsellors. In the implementation of this intervention, JDI engaged the students who revealed that they had little understanding of mental health and would want mental health clubs set up in their schools. To aid the sustainability of the clubs, JDI adopted a teacher-led approach to the establishment and running of the clubs in public secondary schools. In August 2022, this project was piloted with the training of 28 teachers and counsellors from 4 public secondary schools in the FCT, through funding from TY Danjuma Foundation, and approval from the FCT Secondary Education Board. The participating schools are Government Secondary School, Gwa Gwa, Government Secondary School, Jabi, Government Secondary School, Airport and Government Girls Secondary School, Dutse.