Posted by Bob Anthony
Any Rotary club can replicate this successful mental health project that has been proven by communities in the USA, Puerto Rico, India, and Nigeria. Where appropriate, Rotarians have translated its supplemental materials into local languages including Spanish, Hindi, Kannada, and Marathi.
 
PLDP-Nigeria was initiated by the Rotary clubs of Wellesley and Ibadan Idi Ishin with the help of the Rotarian Action Group on Mental Health Initiatives. The resource is described in the RAGMHI Toolkit-Wellness in a Box (https://ragonmentalhealth.org/page/resources-ragmhi-toolkits).  In the first year, eight schools in Nigeria trained faculty, parents, and 1,824 teens where improvements were measured in Knowledge, Negative attitude, and Confidence in help-seeking. Grant funding is not mandatory because the core training and content are online without cost from Boston Children’s Hospital (https://www.openpediatrics.org/course/break-free-depression); the sustainable elements include a referral protocol, experienced trainers, and normalized conversations around mental health and wellness. If grant money is made available, it can be put to excellent use by adding clinical care - the implementations in Puerto Rico, southern India, and Nigeria were completed through Rotary global grants that provided a traveling clinician to support each participating school during the implementation year and to identify ongoing resources. A planned implementation in central India will also increase capacity of providers by training two dozen M.A. Psychology students as school counselors.
Why Nigeria? It is the most depressed country in Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In its 2017 World Health Day message, WHO identified the prevalence rate as 3.9 per cent (over 7 million Nigerians) of the entire population and said the rising suicide trend can be drastically reduced by understanding depression to be a preventable and treatable ailment. This project delivers that understanding. Numerical outcomes are measured by pre- and post surveys to document.
 
PLDP-Nigeria is a global grant project implemented by the Rotarians of Ibadan Idi-Ishin (club #86625 in District 9125) in the state of Ibadan, Nigeria.  The International clubs are in the USA in the state of Massachusetts within District 7910: Needham, Merrimack Valley and Wellesley. The club and individual funding totaled $10,500. Matching funds by District 7910 and the Rotary Foundation provided a total project budget of $35,000 to deliver clinical support to the students, training of faculty, parents and and peer leaders, consulting to the trainers and faculty, school equipment, and supplies. Related information may be viewed at: http://www.adolescentwellness.org/rotary/ 
 
Want to introduce the Wellness in a Box resource to your community? Download the toolkit here (https://ragonmentalhealth.org/page/resources-ragmhi-toolkits).