As the COVID-19 crisis continues to disrupt life around the world, the toll on our mental health is enormous. At a time when there are calls for social distancing and isolation, StrongMinds’ number one priority continues to be ensuring the women and adolescents we serve in Uganda and Zambia have adequate support. We remain constant in our purpose to provide treatment for depression so women can lead healthy, productive and satisfying lives. Our work is more important now than ever.
To protect our staff and the people we serve from community transmission, StrongMinds has suspended our group therapy sessions. However, we are uniquely positioned to help those suffering under the mental health strain caused by the pandemic. We are rapidly scaling our mental health resources and are committed to providing mental health support not only to our past and current patients but to hundreds of thousands of people across Uganda and Zambia.
Our COVID-19 response includes:
1. Expanding our support and expertise beyond depression treatment to include other mental health issues brought about by the pandemic such as anxiety and stress.
2. In this time of social isolation, StrongMinds will deploy mobile, print and radio messages to reach a large audience and will broadcast information about the signs and symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety, as well as simple coping strategies that can be done at home.
3. Checking in by phone with our former clients to gauge their mental health, to remind them to use the coping strategies they learned in our StrongMinds therapy groups, and to encourage them to share these strategies with loved ones.
4. Providing support and technical guidance to NGOs and governments on how to address mental health needs and to incorporate this in their response to the pandemic.
The mental health implications of the COVID-19 crisis are staggering, as families across the sub-continent struggle to cope with financial ruin, hunger, illness, and isolation. StrongMinds is striving to meet the needs of those who are hardest hit.
Your donation today will help us pivot to provide a wide range of new mental health services to the greater community in Zambia and Uganda.1