Mental health is a major concern worldwide, and it is important for everyone to actively participate in mental health awareness campaigns. In recent months, news about young people committing suicide has been prevalent on social media, raising important questions about why some people consider suicide as an option and what kind of help is available for those going through difficult times. It is possible that many people are struggling with mental health issues and dealing with them on their own.
To address these issues, the Zambia U-report team ran a mental health awareness campaign from March 1 to 31, 2022. The campaign aimed to shed light on those battling mental health illnesses and to support the survivors of mental health illnesses. It also aimed to raise awareness of mental health issues and to let young people know that the U-report SMS platform is a safe space where they can talk to professional counselors and share their problems.
One of the main objectives of the campaign was to bridge the gap in knowledge about where to access mental healthcare services. Many people are not aware of the organizations that offer mental health services, so the campaign was used as a tool to educate people about the many mental healthcare service providers in the country. Additionally, there are many misconceptions about mental health and mental health illness, as well as a significant amount of stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health issues. The campaign was used to correct misinformation and educate people about mental health in order to eliminate stigma and discrimination.
During the campaign, various activities were organized to engage U-reporters and others. The U-report team was featured on radio and TV talk shows to discuss mental health and the importance of awareness. The team had the opportunity to appear on UNZA radio, Spring TV, and Muvi TV. These media platforms were effective in reaching people in communities that the U-report team could not reach physically.