TO GIVE HOPE TO OTHERS AND BREAK STIGMA
Part of our goal is to raise awareness of mental health issues in Zimbabwe- including stress, anxiety, and depression which can ultimately lead to suicide.
We want to help remove the stigma by promoting open talk and helping people realise that these are COMMON mental disorders, they affect 1 in 4 of us and their effects touch everyone in some way or another.
We want to share stories of hope and inspiration, as well as let people who are fearful of getting help know that you are not alone, and it’s okay to reach out for help and we would encourage you to do so. The earlier you get help the better the chance of full recovery.*
We want to share your stories, and how you’ve managed to overcome your own battle with mental health issues.
It can be a personal story
It can be about your journey to help
It can be about what schools are doing in your area
It can be things that make you happy, and may help others when they’re down
If you’d like to learn more, or have an idea you’d like to share on how we can help those who may be afraid to reach out, simply use the form to the right and we’ll be back in touch with you soon.
Guidelines for submissions
Keep it personal and focused on events in your life. You don’t have to use your real name if you don’t want to. If you mention other people, please give them a made up name, everyone deserves respect and privacy. Friendship Bench will not be held responsible for your name dropping should it cause a problem in someone else life.
We have a one page limit, so resist writing your whole life story and try focus on a specific time or certain issue (1 day, 1 situation, patterns of behaviour, solutions to problems)
Try to describe emotions and feelings in situations, where you feel emotions in you body, reactions to issues (crying, screaming, running).
Don’t avoid the harder parts of the story, know you can submit your story anonymously and so there is no need to feel shame or embarrassment your identity is private.
Do you have any tips or advice you’d like to share? What would you say to someone going through a similar experience?
Check in with yourself after you have written and see if you feel better or worse. Tell us about it.
Be yourself :) Write as if you were talking or sitting with a friend and telling them your story, don’t feel pressured about it, this is not a test or going to be marked. English doesn’t have to be your first language and we are not language teachers so grammar is not going to scare us. Be conversational.
What we can't publish
Opinion pieces, Friendship Bench reserves the right to define opinion pieces once submitted.
Triggering descriptions of suicide, self-harming tips and tricks and anything else seen as being possibly detrimental to mental wellness of readers.
Inappropriate language, discriminatory remarks, political rants and stigmatising or stereotyping
Any other material submitted is left to the Friendship Bench team to decide on appropriateness, we are not compelled to publish anything.
Blog publication process
If we decide to take your submission to publication we will email you and let you know. We don’’t have huge resources so this can sometimes take a few weeks as submissions are processed for appropriateness.
Friendship Bench reserves the right to edit your submission for clarity, plain English or Shona and online usability. If we make large changes we will send it back to you for approval before publishing. When we edit your post it is not because it is incorrect, it is purely because we have values and ethics to with hold and we have an organisational image to maintain.
Content needs to be planned so your submission may only be published a few months after sent.
Publication terms, conditions and policy
By submitting a post for publication to Friendship Bench Zimbabwe, you are confirming that the rights to any materials used are yours, and that any sources are credited as necessary.
You are also giving Friendship Bench all rights to the copy.
We may reproduce your writing, quotes, and any other submitted material in public relations (PR), electronic media and promotional materials.
We reserve the right not to publish any writing post submitted.
Any details you provide will be kept in line with Friendship Bench
CREDIT: Rainer Kwiotek