Vincentian youth are now more aware of mental health issues because of The Mind Matters SVG campaign.

In July, youth were engaged in mental health awareness presentations entitled, “Understanding mental health and mental illness” during summer programmes at SVG Save the Children Fund (Vinsave), Streams of Power Church and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service.

On Aug. 4, children of the Urban Youth Arts and Sports Summer Programme and Cathedral of the Assumption Children’s Summer Camp showcased how sports and art can be used to maintain/improve one’s mental health after presentations addressing these topics through, sporting activities and drawings.

In the afternoon, adults learned exercise techniques that help to manage stress, anxiety and depression at Constant Fitness SVG location of the Grenadine House parking lot.

Teacher Jodie Dennie founded the Mind Matters SVG campaign in 2016 after increased violent acts involving persons with a history of mental illness occurred in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“The purpose of this campaign is to enable the Vincentian audience, ranging from ages 10 to 30 years, to have a better understanding of mental illnesses, how they can be affected and know precautions/steps to take to avoid mental illnesses and help those affected,” said Dennie, coordinator and presenter of The Mind Matters SVG.

The campaign was launched on April 7, 2017, World Health Day with participation in the #LetsTalk World Health Organization (WHO) campaign. To spread awareness to mature audiences, Dennie wrote the mental health aspects of scenes for a local play entitled, “The Bar”, which was staged at the Peace Memorial Hall from in April.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache, has approved the Mind Matters SVG. The summer initiatives were made possible through the agreement of the summer programme facilitators as well as the participation of medical students from the American University of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and fitness trainer, Gary Constantine.

The Mind Matters SVG is a non–profit campaign supporting mental health awareness of Vincentians. Through these initiatives, The Mind Matters SVG seeks to empower a new generation to eradicate the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. You can find out more from the following social media sites:

Facebook: The Mind Matters SVG

Instagram: @themindmattersvg

Twitter: @mindmattersvg