GYMMH 2021 Mental Health Advocate Training
In the second part of the GYMMH 2021 mental health initiative, 15 senior high school and university students from five national regions were recruited, camped, and trained by different professionals for an average of eight (8) hours a day. Training sessions included a session on ‘public speaking and giving presentations’ by Mr. Jeremiah Sekyi (a Schwarzman Scholar and public speaking world champion) and three sessions on ‘mental health education programming’ led by Mr. Jesse Blakor (a clinical psychologist from our partnering organization Psych Corps Ghana). Other sessions included volunteerism and social impact, advocacy tools and strategies, and design thinking processes. The training ended with presentations by 2021 fellows on mental health projects they planned to embark on – some of which have either started or been completed since their training.
After receiving the necessary training, cohorts were charged with educating their peers and advocating for mental health in their respective schools and local communities. After the camp fellowship training and the completion of a WHO psychological first aid course, fellows reported a general understanding and the ability to explain the reasons behind common mental illnesses, some basic ways to address them, and how to direct individuals to the appropriate mental health resources in their communities. Some projects undertaken by advocates include the mental health spelling bee competition, the SDG challenge, and the Emmanuel Presby mental health workshop among others. Please navigate through the various sections to learn about some of the highlighted projects.