Putting what he learned on the radio and in class into practice — to save a friend
Godlove Mollel is a student at Lengijave Secondary School in Arusha, Tanzania, and a member of his school’s mental health club. Club members listen to a radio program called Positive Mood which airs on Radio 5 every Friday and Sunday.
Positive Mood is a youth program which contains drama, music, panel discussions and interviews with celebrities on topics like mental health and sexual and reproductive health. After the program, club members discuss the issues raised on the program with their teacher.
Godlove has already helped a friend who wanted to commit suicide. The friend failed an exam and his friends laughed at him. He thought of himself as a “loser” and decided to take rat poison. But Godlove grabbed the poison and started talking to him.
Godlove and some passersby took the friend home to his parents, then later to the health centre. Now, Godlove’s friend attends a clinic, where he receives medication and effective counseling.
Godlove says, “I really enjoyed being a part of the Positive Mood team because I saved someone’s life.”
Godlove is a hero because he prevented his friend from committing suicide. He used what he learned on the radio and in discussions with his teacher.
He adds, “The radio program and sessions with my teacher had an impact on my own life. Now I know how to deal with and juggle the stresses of school, home and work.”
Our “Integrated youth mental health” project has sought to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health, enhance mental health literacy and improve access to effective care. Teachers and primary care workers in Tanzania and Malawi have received training to better identify the signs of mental illness and provide effective care. Meanwhile, Positive Mood, on air in Tanzania, and Nkhawa Njee — Yonse Bo (Depression free, life is cool), on air in Malawi, have youth talking about mental illness and depression.