Brief: An Integrated Approach to Addressing Youth Depression in Malawi and Tanzania

Mental Health On Air is a unique initiative funded by Grand Challenges Canada and led by Farm Radio International in collaboration with teenmentalhealth.org, Farm Radio Trust and the World University Services of Canada to raise awareness about teenage Depression and improve mental health services for young people in Malawi and Tanzania.

Mental Health On Air combines interactive radio programs for youth, secondary school curriculum materials about mental health, school-based radio listening clubs and training for primary health providers in the diagnosis and treatment of adolescent depression. It helps reduce stigma about mental health disorders among young people, parents, teachers and communities and increases access to adolescent mental health care. This initiative provides an opportunity to improve health outcomes for depression in East Africa.

What we did:
1 Providing schools with tools to educate teachers and students about mental health and mental health disorders
2 Providing primary health care workers with the training and tools to help them identify, diagnose and appropriately treat youth who may be suffering from Depression
3 Delivering training to primary health care workers on ‘Effective Helping’ for teenagers
4 Improving access to medications known to be effective in treating depression in young people through advocacy and policy engagement
5 Creating community awareness of mental health and decreasing stigma through radio soap opera, youth mental health clubs and peer mental health educator training

Year Published: 2015

Contact: Kevin Perkins at kperkins@farmradio.org

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