UNAIR Nursing students promote mental-illness-friendly village program

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UNAIR NEWS- The exponential increase of people with mental illness (ODGJ) during the pandemic has inspired the Student of Executive Board (BEM) of the Faculty of Nursing (FKP) Universitas Airlangga to offer a solution through philanthropic community empowerment. The program was initiated due to the existing stigma in the community believing the mental illness is caused by spirits, so many are scared of people with mental illness.

With their idea, the FKP team consisting of 15 students remove the community’s stigma related to ODGJ by creating a friendly referral village, thus supporting the healing. The mental-illness-friendly village is Pesanggrahan Village, in Kutorejo Subdistrict, Mojokerto Regency.

Uswah Nurul Izzati as the team leader said that people with mental illness still have rights as human beings to be respected and protected so their social function can be restored. To achieve this, the support of the community is needed.

The team created synergy from several aspects, including education, health, economy, and the environment.

“Our main program is Mental School and Mental Health Cadre Education. We educate the public to understand the causes, prevention, and treatment and teach them how to behave properly when dealing with ODGJ. Of course, with different methods according to the age of participants,” explained Izzati.

On the notion of health, Izzati and the team organized medical checkup activities. “Medical checkup activities can be used by people who want to consult both their general health and mental problems they may experience. We also collaborate with the psychosocial disability foundation in the village,” said Izzati.

There is also a direct approach of community empowerment to people with disabilities by expanding their business scope with candle making. While in the notion of the environmental aspect, the team carried out the Clean Village Program.

“The program is done by planting some seeds such as mint, lavender, and tulsi. They effectively reduce stress and work as a sedative,” explained the nursing student.

For their ideas, they received a grant from the Holistic Village Development and Empowerment Program (PHP2D), a socio-preneur program initiated by the Directorate of Learning and Student Affairs, Directorate General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) focusing on the social affairs and community for student organizations. The BEM FKP UNAIR team managed to qualify after going through the national selection process.

In the future, Izzati and her team hope that they could maintain the program’s sustainability and continue to improve the welfare of the community. “Hopefully, this program will have an impact. There is no more stigma against them (ODGJ, ed), so yes, people can be civil without getting rid of them,” said Izzati. (*)

Author: Viradyah Lulut Santosa

Editor :  Binti Q. Masruroh (AC/AP)

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