Mental health advocacy
I Am a Girl prides itself in taking a holistic approach to women's empowerment. We believe that mental health and mental health advocacy is a critical component to improve the livelihood of women in and around Mbale.
In 2021 we trained women leaders in our community on Psychological First Aid, a tool to recognize emotional distress and provide support in difficult situations. With the help of our supporters, we hope to increase this program offering to allow for improved mental health knowledge in the community.
Mental healthcare is a critical component for women's empowerment.
Issues such as gender based violence, sexual assault, and deeply embedded patriarchal values severely impact the mental health of women in our communities. Women are afraid to speak up, afraid to seek help, and often feel powerless. By educating leaders in the community and by providing social work services at our Women's Wellness Center, we ensure that women get the mental health support that they need.
We prioritize mental health care in all the work that we do, ensuring that we are not ignoring critical women's health concerns. we provide Psychological First Aid training to leaders in the community, and we have a social worker on staff at our clinic in order to support mental health needs of community members. For advanced cases, we refer to organizations in the community who are better equipped for longterm care.
In 2021, our Care Groups were formed with support from American Women for International Understanding. These groups gave 50 girls a place to meet every week and discuss issues related to menstrual health, goal-setting, and mental health. We found these groups to be deeply impactful in the lives of every girl participant. By providing a female-only safe space, they were free to explore issues that truly concerned them and to find support for reproductive and mental health concerns.
Psychological First Aid Training
Psychological First Aid Training was offered to 10 community members in 2021. We hope to provide additional training for all staff and additional members of the community with the support of our funders.