Evidence-based approaches empowering youth with mental health conditions to tackle stigma

Project location(s): Nairobi County

Project Overview

The project aims to empower and support youth (18-35 years) with lived experience of mental health conditions to challenge stigma and discrimination in Nairobi County through face-to-face conversations with the public and a public awareness media campaign with mass reach. The overall goal of the program is to challenge mental health stigma by improving knowledge, attitudes and intended behaviours of people without mental health conditions towards those with mental health conditions.


Why this approach?

For more than 10 years many of the core methodologies in this project have been deployed in England and Wales through the highly successful Time to Change campaign. This work has shown that anti-stigma campaigns can reduce stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental health conditions. In England, between 2008 and 2017 an estimated 5.4 million attitudes changed for the better – that’s a 12.7% improvement. People’s willingness to live, work and continue a relationship with someone with mental health conditions also improved by 11%. Also, people with mental health conditions had experienced significantly low levels of discrimination in 2014 compared to 2008. In the media, in 2016 for the first time, newspaper coverage of mental health in England was more likely to be non-stigmatising than stigmatising.
In 2019, BNBR partnered with Time to Change Global (TTCG) to pilot the Time to Change methodologies and approach in Nairobi – working with 20 people with lived experience of mental health conditions (Champions). The approach was received well by the Champions, Ministry of Health officials and the Nairobi County Health Services as there were significant learnings that advised the adaptation of the methods to the Kenyan context.

The expected project outcomes are:

  • Youth with lived/personal experience of mental health conditions empowered to challenge stigma and claim their rights.
  • Change in knowledge, attitude and intended behaviour of people without lived experience of mental health conditions not to stigmatise or discriminate against people with lived experience of mental health conditions.
  • Caregivers and Community health workers are able to effectively support youth with mental health conditions and refer them to appropriate care.

Implementing partner(s)