PHOEBE GIRLS RECOVERY PROJECT
WHAT WE DO
We deliver mental health workshops
P.H.O.E.B.E Youth delivers critically needed mental health workshops to young girls between the ages of 12 Years and 18 years who are victims of child marriages, sexual exploitation and domestic violence in Zimbabwe.
We raise mental health awareness
P.H.O.E.B.E Youth also raises mental health awareness within schools and the community and is the only project in Zimbabwe aiming to help young girls recover from depression through education, peer educators and mental health professionals.
THE IMPORTANCE OF P.H.O.E.B.E. YOUTH
There is a crisis affecting children and young people’s mental health with three children in every classroom experiencing a clinically diagnosable condition with mental ill-health affecting roughly one in 10 children and young people. Mental health problems have been on an increase in many developing countries including Zimbabwe emanating from depression especially among women and young girls. Despite the high rates of depression and anxiety disorders amongst women and young girls, the mental health of women and young girls is a neglected area. World Health Organisation reports that, one in four Zimbabweans suffers from some form of mental illness, but there are only 13 psychiatrists in a country of about 15.6 million.
Young girls are most at risk of gender-based violence, unsafe environments, and face a higher risk of HIV infection. These girls suffer depression, substance dependency and anxiety disorders all caused from their past and present traumatic experiences. 32% of girls in Zimbabwe are married before the age of 18 and 4% are married before their 15th birthday. Having being forced into marriage with old men, these girls face depression which usually coexists with anxiety, and multiple diagnostic categories for common mental disorders. There is a need of tackling the negative mental health impact of these injustices that affect young girls.
THE AIMS OF P.H.O.E.B.E YOUTH
- To change the negative perception of mental disorders by the Zimbabwe public.
- To maximize scarce public resources and support families in the provision of the best possible care for mentally ill girls.
- Reduce the incidence and prevalence of mental disorders young girls, including those associated with inappropriate use of addictive substances.
- To train teachers in mental health care and help them to form support groups in schools and identify low self-esteem and depression in young girls.
- To train and recruit young girls to volunteer to identify low self-esteem and depression in other girls to help them retain them in school.
- To find better ways of addressing school-related stressors.
- To facilitate a wider culture within schools that values mental health and wellbeing.
- To give legal advice to those girls who are victims of child marriages, sexual exploitation and domestic violence and to help them with the justice system process.
- To educate girls on their rights and the channels they need to take when faced with an infringement of those rights.
P.H.O.E.B.E. Youth projects
GIRLS KICK OUT DEPRESSION
Girls are educated on mental health during soccer sessions and learn how psychosocial well-being, sport and physical activity are linked. The programme ensures that the girls understand their own mental health, and explores self-expression and mental health recovery through sport and counselling. The girls have improved their self-esteem, mental fitness and this has enhanced their academic performance in school.