17 May 2023

#OnMyMind: Better mental health for every child in South Africa

Every child has the right to grow up in a loving, nurturing and safe environment, with supportive relationships and access to quality mental health and psychosocial support., Unfortunately this is not the case for many children and young people in South Africa. Children and adolescents face numerous challenges – including individual, social, and environmental factors – that impact their mental wellbeing. Not feeling safe, exposure to high levels of community violence, child maltreatment and gender-based violence are…, Seeking help, The first step and sometimes we need a little encouragement to take it. Being aware of when you need support and knowing where to go for help is the first step. UNICEF – with support from META – ran a 2023 mental health campaign on Facebook that reached more than 17,5 million people in South Africa with coping tips and the counselling service…, Shifting the narrative, Supporting young people to lead the mental health conversation. With our partner  Radio Workshop  we trained 117 youth reporters across nine sites on radio fundamentals and mental health. Youth reporters are leading the mental health conversation through live radio shows and outreach. A total of 184 radio shows have been produced exploring a wide…, Understanding, Getting to grips with the concept of mental health and where to access reliable information and support., Covered • Clean • Caring, The Covered, Clean and Caring  (3Cs) programme – initially designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 – has been updated with mental health resources and training materials for hosting dialogues about mental health. For educators and learners across 151 schools and orphans and vulnerable children centres, the Caring module introduced an “entirely new…, U-Report mental health chatbot, U-Report is a free platform for youth participation and is designed to address issues that young people care about. Providing information in response to a range of issues that young people have raised, including mental health, U-Report has created an easy-to-use chatbot., Having the conversation, Helping schools and communities to talk about mental health, what it is, and what parents and caregivers can do to support the young people in their lives., Check • Connect • Care, This programme focused on a mental health project with the school community in the Eastern Cape. The  Check, Connect and Care   materials were used to train 39 facilitators from 24 schools and helped parents, caregivers and community members to understand more about the mental health difficulties that their children experience, and what they can…, Get help now, Want to know more about mental health? Follow the links below to access the U-report Mental Health chatbot: Whatsapp Telegram   OR  On WhatsApp/Telegram: Save the U-Report number +27 83 283 8313 as U-Report SA, send the keyword INFO and follow the prompts to the mental health chat bot. Speak to a counsellor in South Africa Childline: 116 Suicide…
01 March 2023

Covered • Clean • Caring - version 2.0

Infectious diseases are a reality, and we all have a role to play to keep ourselves and others safe.  These updated interactive resources are designed for COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement in Schools and Orphan and Vulnerable Child Centres in South Africa, and can also be used at home and in your community. The resources provide informative and engaging approaches to promote good hygiene practices and help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.  Because of the negative impact of the pandemic on youth mental health, the updated Covered, Clean and Caring programme also provides resources and training materials for addressing mental health and hosting dialogues about mental health in your community. Who? The project was funded by USAID (Phase 1) and UKAid (Phase 2), led by UNICEF, designed by Jive Media Africa, and implemented by Partners in Development (PID). Support was provided by the National Department of Basic Education, Provincial Departments of Education, the National Department of Social Development, and the Mpumalanga Department of Social Development. Where? In 2023, Covered, Clean and Caring has been implemented in 112 schools and 39 Orphan and Vulnerable Children centres across South Africa where USAID, UKAid and UNICEF have installed handwashing stations. The project also supported 24 schools in the Eastern Cape to hold caring dialogues with parents, caregivers and the broader school community to understand what mental health is and how to support young people in looking after it.    What? UNICEF’S Covered, Clean and Caring COVID-19 Prevention Programme is a package of materials created to engage learners, teachers, caretakers and the surrounding community. Multiple fun-filled activities have been designed to encourage learners to explore how they can consistently practice good hygiene, how they can care for one another and how they can identify and look after their own mental health. See the Check • Connect • Care resources.