Mental Health workshops for Peer Educators [module 7a and 7b]

The basic workshop modules were six, but due to the large scope of peer education and the length of the implementation period, a seventh module was needed, which was designed to support the peer educators. Therefore, everyone who needs additional strengthening in the area of ​​work with young people and peer education had the opportunity to participate in the so-called mentoring sessions in module 7a, and all those who want to express themselves creatively on the topic of mental health had the opportunity to work on themed songs and music within module 7b. All activities with peer educators took place in the Youth Center.

The mentoring sessions or the so-called 7a module were intended for those educators who have already conducted presentations and activities, so they shared their impressions in a common atmosphere with others. Personal stories were shared about how they felt during the presentations, what problems they encountered during the implementation, and what kind of attitude they encountered with the teachers and professional services. There were numerous insights, but some of them were that they were happy and satisfied and that they learned, developed, and strengthened their self-confidence. They were satisfied with the support they received from the YMCA, they expected more support from the schools and they thought it would be great to work with smaller groups of classmates.

These meetings helped the peer educators a lot, especially those who were conducting activities of this type for the first time, but they also felt free to express themselves and learn something additional from the more experienced ones. Three workshops were held, the first of which was attended by the Mayor and other representatives of the Municipality of Bitola, where they were introduced to the entire project and current activities in more detail. The third meeting was an introduction to the 7b module – mental health and music imposed by peers. From those proposals came the workshops with the creative expression of the messages that the peer educators had already shared among themselves during the peer school in the past period. Here, the peer educators were offered many opportunities for self-expression through the written word, writing verses, and singing. The guest was Jasna Dimitrovska, a musician, who briefly explained to the participants the planned future activities in the mental health school for children and youth, as well as the connection between music and mental health. The participants in one of the previous modules had prepared several of their songs which were opened in this module and several workshops worked towards creating a song that will be ready for performance at the final event of this school.

The project „Peer school for children and youth mental health“ of the Youth Association YMCA Bitola has been implemented in the frames of the regional program for local democracy in Western Balkans2 Reload2, financed by the European Union (EU), implemented by United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The project is co-financed by the Municipality of Bitola. The project has been implemented by the YMCA in cooperation with Poraka Nova and Amos.

Read for the previous modules of workshops