Rwanda – Progress from our peer counselling project and new entrepreneurship programme for young survivors of the 1994 genocide
- 273 new clients were enrolled in peer support groups where they received group counselling. The peer support groups met every two weeks. The total number of young genocide survivors who have been helped in this way since the project started is nearly 1,800.
- 24 new Peer Support Counsellors (PSCs) were recruited and trained to run the peer counselling groups. They know the group members well, moderate the group counselling sessions, watch for anyone who needs extra support, and refer them to the project’s counsellors. 178 PSCs have been trained to date.
- 20 health workers were trained in mental health case management.
- 114 participants had individual counselling.
- 298 clients who needed extra support were visited at home.
- 49 graduates of the peer counselling programme started the new entrepreneurship programme. 43 participants applied for micro loans and 6 chose to use their training skills to start small businesses. 14 micro loans have been awarded so far.
- 24 participants started their own small businesses using their savings and 25 are engaged in farming activities while waiting for decisions on their micro-loan applications.
In 2021, 22 new Health Workers were trained in recognising signs of mental ill-health, e.g. depression and post traumatic stress disorder, bringing the total since the start of the project to 124. 24 young genocide survivors were selected to be peer support counsellors. They were trained in trauma counselling skills and how to facilitate the group counselling sessions. 154 Peer Support Counsellors have been trained to date. 198 home visits were carried out, whilst 181 participants took part in group counselling & 118 participants received individual counselling. 1,703 participants received telephone counselling to ensure continuity of counselling during Covid-19 lockdowns.
In 2020, 24 new Health Workers were trained, bringing the total since the start of the project to 102. A further 24 young genocide survivors were selected to be peer support counsellors, bringing the total number of Peer Support Counsellors who have been trained to date to 130. 461 home visits were carried out to offer extra support to particularly vulnerable beneficiaries. 263 participants took part in group counselling & 856 participants received individual counselling. 1,340 participants received telephone counselling to ensure continuity of counselling during Covid-19 lockdowns.
In 2019, 29 new Health Workers were trained, bringing the total to 78. 106 Peer Support Counsellors have been trained to date. 332 home visits were carried out to offer extra support to particularly vulnerable beneficiaries. 272 participants took part in group counselling; and 69 participants received individual counselling.
In 2018, we replicated the programme to reach a further 250 genocide orphans, and have been replicating it each year since then.
In 2017, a pilot programme was successfully delivered to provide mental health support to 250 young survivors of the genocide who are suffering from PTSD, anxiety and depression.
Sierra Leone – Progress from our project supporting livelihoods and mental health in Port Loko district
- 489 clients received counselling.
- 2,957 community members attended community mental health awareness-raising sessions.
- 36 mental health clinics took place – 3 every month.
- 56 people continued to receive medication for their epilepsy. 30% of clients with epilepsy were able to purchase their own medication, whereas previously none had been able to afford to.
- 529 pregnant women/new mothers accessed our maternal mental health clinics.
- 1,071 school children took part in mental health awareness-raising sessions, together with 316 school teachers/staff.
- 9 self-help groups, comprising 226 people with mental illness/epilepsy and their caregivers, received income generating activities.
- Conforti received an “Outstanding Performance” award for its work in Port Loko, in Sierra Leone’s December 2022 NGO awards.
In 2021, as part of our Community Mental Health and Covid-19 projects in Port Loko 256 clients received 1:1 counselling and 783 took part in group counselling. 417 community members attended Community Outreach sessions on mental health signs, symptoms and care, as well as myth-busting and stigma reduction. 36 Mental Health Clinics were conducted and 362 people attended. 56 people with epilepsy continued to receive epilepsy medication (17 of which are children). 390 pregnant women, 301 breastfeeding mothers and 4 partners took part in weekly Maternity Clinics. Of these, 24 women subsequently came forward to receive counselling. 358 primary school students (and teachers) and 311 secondary school students (and teachers) received Mental Health Awareness sessions; and 45 Self Help Group members took part in a 5 day Livelihoods and Savings training workshop (they in turn shared what they had learnt with the remaining 135 group members).
In 2020 (July-December) 10 team members received mhGAP refresher training and supervision with a mental health specialist. 161 patients in Bakeloko, Maforki and Kasse chiefdoms attended mobile Mental Health Clinics, run by the Port Loko district mental health nurse and 112 participants took part in Community Education sessions (1 session per community per month) in villages/community centres. 459 people with mental illnesses and/or epilepsy & 43 carers received counselling and our 9 Self Help Groups with a total of 179 members continued to be supported. 131 people joined Community Outreach sessions which covered referral pathways, stigma reduction, mental health signs and symptoms, family support and 56 participants were prescribed epilepsy medication and attended monthly review sessions with a mental health nurse. 9 secondary schools received Covid-19 and mental health awareness sessions reaching around 800 students.
Uganda – Progress from our project to improve mental health and provide livelihoods in Agago district
- 823 clients attended BNUU’s monthly mental health clinics.
- 305 clients received counselling.
- 946 community members attended community mental health awareness-raising sessions.
- 61 self-help groups were meeting regularly.
- 621 self-help group members from 35 groups were working hard on their livelihoods.
- 103% was the average increase in savings by people with mental illness/epilepsy.
- 442 project participants planted successful vegetable gardens.
- 146 Village Health Team members were trained to recognise the signs of mental illness and when and how to make referrals.
- 167 duty-bearers e.g. police officers, teachers, religious leaders etc., were trained to recognise the signs of mental illness and when and how to make referrals.
- 475 new clients received medication for mental illness/epilepsy.
In 2021, 339 people with mental illness and/or epilepsy (and caregivers) were counselled. 548 people with mental illness and/or epilepsy attended monthly mental health clinics. 1,049 attended community education sessions in the four participating health centres. 426 Self Help Group (SHG) members in 25 Self Help Groups (SHGs) attended training on how to set up and manage drug banks. 60 SHG representatives attended further training, where they developed the terms of reference for the drug banks.. Representatives from SHGs successfully lobbied local government for better and safer road access to the mental health clinics, and for health workers to improve their attitude towards PMIEs. 625 SHG members (from 35 Self SHGs received income generating activity items, such as dried sardines, cooking oil, onions, soap, salt and sugar (this had been delayed from the end of 2020 because of nationwide Covid-19 restrictions on movement and gatherings). 401 Self Help Group members participated in business trends analysis sessions to assess how their individual business enterprises had fared after the first round of sales; and business monitoring committees were set up to monitor the SHGs’ businesses, provide progress reports and discuss challenges.
In 2020, 25 Self Help Groups were selected to take part in the livelihoods project. 450 members received group management training and financial literacy training and 437 members received enterprise selection training. 442 members received family visits to check on preparedness for receiving inputs.
Uganda – Progress from our community health matters project in Kalongo, Agago district (Comic Relief)
In 2020, 733 patients were treated at monthly Mental Health clinics in the 4 beneficiary sub-counties of Lukole, Paimol, Wol and Kalongo Town Council. 441 people with mental illness or epilepsy took part in 682 counselling sessions and 2,046 people took part in Community Education sessions to raise awareness about mental illness and epilepsy, including symptoms, causes and where to seek treatment. 36 new Self Help Groups were formed with a total of 692 members, bringing the total number of Self Help Groups to 61. 62 Self Help Group members received training in advocacy and human rights (these trainers went on to share this training with the remaining 630 SHG members). 10 Health workers from the 4 health centres were involved in Participatory Data Analysis sessions to analyse progress of the project and gather beneficiaries’ feedback, 77 members took part in Focus Group discussions to measure satisfaction of the support they had received, and 29 project staff and SHG leaders took part in in-depth interviews about stigma reduction.
In 2019, 716 new patients were treated at Mental Health Clinics. 1,304 people attended monthly clinics. 354 people with mental illness or epilepsy benefited from counselling sessions, as did 155 caregivers. 25 Self Help Groups were formed with a total of 482 members, and 48 Community Education Sessions were carried out, including 4 in schools – these reached 4,629 people.
Sierra Leone – Progress from our life-changing mental health project (Comic Relief)
In 2019, 1,167 follow up and outreach counselling sessions were undertaken. 84 Mental Health clinics were conducted – these clinics supported more than 1,000 clients. 24 Self Help Groups were formed (9 in Port Loko and 15 in Freetown). 1,658 people attended Community Health sessions, and 84 Community Education sessions were carried out to raise awareness of mental illness, reduce stigma around mental illness and explain how to get treatment and support – these reached over 1,600 people.
In 2018, 30 head teachers, 28 police officers, 21 local councillors, 28 religious leaders, 21 traditional leaders and 28 chiefs and “mammy queens” were trained in how to identify mental health issues and refer people to available services. Radio broadcasts communicated messages to raise awareness about mental health problems, symptoms and how to help those suffering from them. 429 people were registered with mental health problems and/or epilepsy for counselling.
Uganda – Progress from our community counselling outreach project in Patongo
2,000 community members trained in trauma counselling skills; these lay counsellors supported 13,000 people suffering from mental health problems. 24 community counsellors received advanced training in trauma counselling and its related behaviour (e.g. alcohol abuse, domestic and sexual violence, depression and suicide). They offered individual counselling to trauma victims, and their respected status in the community makes them effective conduits of information about health, nutrition, family planning and women’s rights. Each year, the counsellors work with 5,000 people. 24 community counsellors were also trained in HIV counselling to support HIV+ people, helping them come to terms with their diagnosis and adhere to the right medical protocol (e.g. antiretroviral drugs).