As our regular readers will already know, Gede Foundation signed a 6 month research contract with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Nigeria/ Sustainable Mechanisms for Improved Livelihoods and Household Empowerment (SMILE) project in May 2016. The contract is focused on delivering an approach to community based detection, treatment and referral services for vulnerable children with mental health and psychosocial problems and their caregivers. Pending the beginning of the research, Gede Foundation and CRS held a 7-day training which ran from the 15th to the 23rd of June 2016.
The training was conducted by the Principal Investigator to the project, Dr. Bonnie Kaiser who is a post-doctoral fellow at Duke University. She has vast experience in research and conducts global mental health research with a focus on cultural aspects of measurement, communication and intervention design. The training participants included four research assistants and two members from CRS/SMILE.
The training was both highly technical and extremely interactive. Topics covered include Research Basis, Introduction to Mental health and Resilience, Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Research, Ethics, Interviewing Practice, Focus Group Discussions and Survey Data Collection. After each topic, the participants had practice questions or interviewed some volunteers from Gede Foundation.
To test their overall readiness, participants were introduced to Focus Group Discussions with children from Mpape, one of the SMILE communities in the Federal Capital Territory. The FGDs went well and gave the participants a feel of what lies ahead of them.
The research will commence in 2 weeks and will run for 6 months. It is our belief that this project is groundbreaking in the area of mental health among children and that it will help scores of children and caregivers to be more open and resilient, as well as helping the children to grow into mentally sound adults.