Over the course of one year (May 2017 – April 2018), Fellows will work with and support Kenyan Community Partners to generate, test, evaluate and disseminate disruptive solutions to complex mental health system challenges.
This inaugural Summer Institute took place in Machakos Town, Machakos County, Kenya from May 21 to June 3, 2017. The Fellows were welcomed by keynote speaker Michael Njenga (Executive Director, Users and Survivors of Psychiatry in Kenya [USP-Kenya], and Board Member, National Council for Persons With Disabilities in Kenya) who inspired all through his call-to-action to promote and advocate for a more inclusive and rights-/values-based mental health system in Kenya, and globally.
Four complex challenges were identified by three of our Community Partners (CREATEKenya, USP-Kenya, and the Machakos Level 5 Hospital). These complex challenges evolved and were shaped through further consultation with Community Partners, field visits to key community sites, discussions with local decision makers and other stakeholders, and mentorship and coaching by Faculty Mentors. By the end of the two weeks, a community-oriented and contextualized narrative of the complex challenge had been developed and a disruptive solution was ready to be proposed. On June 2nd, 2017, teams pitched their solutions in front of an audience of 40-50 individuals, made up of judges, Canadian and African faculty and staff, Community Partner representatives, local community members, local Kenyan media representatives, and Kenyan government liaisons. All projects were eligible to receive seed funding of up to $5000 CAD.
Teams are currently working to further build upon and refine their projects, through online participation in webinar sessions related to core content areas, and team meetings with Community Partner representatives and Faculty Mentors. As well, teams are identifying opportunities for potential synergy and collaboration between projects. Over the coming months, teams will also work to develop their plans for sustainability and scalability, and knowledge mobilization activities.
More information on the teams projects and updates will be shared shortly – stay tuned!
Click here to meet our 2017 GMFP Faculty and Students!
Click here to view our 2017 Summer Institute video!
We would like to also thank the following organizations that have supported our efforts for the 2017 GMFP: Mindfulness Without Borders and eCampusOntario.