The Friendship Bench Open House is a safe, supportive and normalising environment for adolescents, adults and seniors seeking mental health support. We focus on people who are suffering from common mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression; known locally as kufungisisa (thinking too much).
With the use of talk therapy we guide clients through six problem solving steps which not only helps them identify, define and develop achievable solutions to their problems, but also helps individuals become autonomous decision makers who are empowered to continue to help themselves.
The intervention is delivered by trained Friendship Bench mind workers, many of whom hold their own lived experiences which adds to their wisdom and ability to be there for others and hold the safe space while clients share their stories. The mind workers create an atmosphere where individuals feel they are heard, they have worth and they are respected unconditionally.
ANYONE WHO FEELS THE NEED TO TALK TO A TRAINED MENTAL HEALTH CARE WORKER.
Mental health is the foundation for emotions, thinking, communication, learning, resilience and self-esteem. Mental health is also key to relationships, personal and emotional well-being and contributing to community or society.
Many people who have a mental health problems do not want to talk about it. We want people to know that poor mental health is nothing to be ashamed of! It is a medical condition, just like heart disease or diabetes.
Mental health problems take many forms. Some are mild and only interfere in limited ways with daily life, such as certain phobias (abnormal fears). Other mental health conditions are so severe that a person may need care in a hospital. No matter where on the spectrum you feel you may be sitting we provide a safe space to share your story and learn tools to enhance your mental well-being.
"Nearly two thirds of people with a known mental health problem never seek help. Stigma, discrimination and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental health problems." (WHO)
Where there is neglect, there is little or no understanding. Where there is no understanding, there is neglect.
Early intervention offers the greatest chance of recovery, this is why it is crucial to learn the warning signs and symptoms and for us to create a non-judgemental, affordable and accessible space for people to seek help.
Mental health conditions are treatable, they must not be neglected by others or by oneself.