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In February 2023, the Ministry of Education and the International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF) with funding support from the Government of Canada under the Safeguarding the Human Dignity & Rights of Populations At-Risk for Ill-Mental Health (SPAR) Project signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on several targeted initiatives in support of addressing Mental Health treatment, awareness, and evaluations among students in Guyana. Since the signing of the MOU, the IDRF has undertaken Mental School Audits in 15 public schools and 3 private schools in Guyana and kickstarted several awareness and advocacy initiatives including a Students’ Mental Health Video Competition.
At the award ceremony for the Students’ Mental Health Video Competition, acting Chief Schools’ Welfare Officer, Mr. Vickram Mohabir reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to strengthening the availability of Mental Health programs and support services to students across Guyana. These initiatives are aimed at driving greater support for children facing Mental Health Challenges in Guyana. IDRF’s CEO Mahmood Qasim in his remarks commended the efforts of the students and charged them to continue to influence positive changes.
Eighteen students entered the competition, and the top three prizes were awarded to Ganesh Ghansham of Zeeburg Secondary, Kimberely Angela Sparman of Christ Church Secondary and Akaida Simpson of Hope Secondary School.