Firts Aid In Mental Health





History Logs

Project Description

Region: South America

Country: Colombia

Location: Villa De Leyva

Total Budget: $40,950

Area of Focus: Disease prevention and treatment

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1. Reduce the risk and evolution of mental illness in the community of the Province of Ricaurte by shortening the time between the first manifestations and health care, through early detection of its signs and symptoms.

2. Train the community in the early identification of signs and symptoms of Mental Illness and provide tools that allow them to adequately guide people to access mental health care services.

3. REDUCE THE STIGMA of mental illness to facilitate access to care

4. Carry out a pilot of the "Mental Health First Aid" program in Villa de Leyva and the province of Alto Ricaurte.


In Colombia the mental health situation has been deteriorating in recent years with the aggravating factor that the offer of care for these pathologies is very limited; it is estimated that 40% of the population presents alterations in their mental health at some point in their lives. life, but only 10% of these people access health service provision. Additionally, the stigma of the disease, the low offer of services in this area of medicine leads most patients to consult late, when the advanced state of their situation makes the prognosis more unfavourable; Studies show that initial care is provided about ten years after the first signs and symptoms appear.

The project consists of holding 60 workshops for 200 teachers from 15 schools and 1,000 parents to train them in the early identification of signs and symptoms of Mental Illness and provide tools that allow them to adequately guide people to access care services in mental health, coordinate with the mayors of the 7 municipalities, health care providers (IPSs) and health insurers (EPSs) to establish fluid care routes.

Implement a pilot program in Villa de Leyva and the province of Alto Ricáurte (Boyacá), and subsequently disseminate it throughout the national territory. To this end, a great strategic alliance will be signed between the Rotary Club of Villa de Leyva and Alto Rucáurte, the municipal mayors of the province of Ato Ricáurte, the Government of Boyacá, the Ministry of Health of Boyacá, the Faculties of Health Sciences (Medicine, Nursing, Psychology and Therapies) with the 5 Universities that have teaching-service agreements with the health institutions of Boyacá, in order to have professionals. This alliance will be in charge of carrying out the initial pilot, evaluating results and impact, making the pertinent adjustments and proceeding to scale the program to the national level within the framework of Primary Health Care established in Law 1715 of 2015.


Mental disorders in Colombia mainly affect children, adolescents and young adults, they begin to manifest on average between the ages of 9 and 22 and their initial symptoms and signs go unnoticed by their families and teachers, which causes the disease to progress without being detected.

In Colombia, several surveys carried out since 2019 by the Ministry of Health have found a substantial increase in the prevalence of depression and suicidal behavior. A General Health survey validated by the World Health Organization between April and May 2022 indicated that 70% of young Colombians have had their sleeping pattern affected by their daily worries, while 30% claim to have lost confidence in themselves. The prevalence rate of depression in adults in Colombia is estimated at 5%, constituting the second cause of disease burden in the country.

Adolescents are the most affected. 6.6% present suicidal ideation and in Villa de Leyva, according to the 2023 Health Situation Analysis report (ASIS-2023), there have been 10 cases of suicide in the last year, which means the scandalous figure of 33, 37X100,000 inhabitants. Likewise, injuries due to domestic violence increased and a very worrying figure is the report of 4 cases of HIV+ during the year 2021. The consumption of alcohol and psychoactive substances begins on average at the age of 13.

The mortality rate due to suicide increased in the Department of Boyacá from 4.49 x 100,000 inhabitants in 2013 to 6 x 100,000 in 2021 with a slight reduction in 2022 (5.8%)

According to the National Department of Statistics (DANE), deaths by suicide are much more frequent in men than in women, while suicidal ideation without resulting in death occurs more frequently in the latter (7.4% in women and 5.7% in women). % in men). Regarding deaths from suicide according to age groups, we find that the largest number occurs in the 20 to 24 year old group. The greatest growth in the rate occurs in the 15 to 19 age group and is 12.3% between 2019 and 2022.

According to DANE, there is a marked preponderance of alcohol (84%) and tobacco (33.3%), and a low prevalence of illegal psychoactive substances. However, there is a more pronounced use of non-medically formulated tranquilizers such as benzodiazepines, stimulants and opioids. With the recent arrival of illegal fentanyl in the country, it is expected that cases of poisoning and death due to opioid overdose will increase.

It is estimated that in Colombia 1.84% of people have consumed tranquilizing medications without a medical formula. Men represent 2.06% and women 1.63. The highest consumption is in the age range between 18 and 24 years. The prevalence of the use of other psychoactive substances including marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and crack is much lower.

First Aid in Mental Health:

The Mental Health First Aid Program seeks to train the general population to recognize the early warning signs and symptoms of different mental health pathologies and use of psychoactive substances, and to act safely and effectively to support people who present. such symptoms. This includes the mental health first aid provider's own awareness of vulnerability as well as their perception of risk. Any adult over 18 years of age can train. It is not necessary to have formal education outside of basic literacy. The program reviews the basic clinical aspects of the most common mental health problems with a focus on risk reduction and suicide prevention components; as well as substance use and overdose. Likewise, it emphasizes raising awareness about the importance of self-care and the creation and maintenance of effective social support networks within different communities It aims to increase literacy and mental health knowledge of the trained populations, increase self-efficacy, self-confidence and probability of helping other people on the part of the participants, reduce stigma and increase empathy towards people with challenges. of mental health and use of psychoactive substances, by participants, increased likelihood of seeking help for their own mental health, applying the skills learned in situations where mental health first aid is required Impact multiple areas of public health including an emphasis on the early detection and treatment of mental disorders, improvement in the areas of primary and secondary prevention, including more stable and effective social support networks during recovery.It is conservatively estimated that between 10,000 and 12,000 people in the initial phase and between 6 to 10 million Colombians may benefit once it is scaled to the national level.


During the development of the pilot program, the initial grant from Rotary International would serve to subsidize the design and development of materials, purchase of equipment, printing and distribution of manuals, and other costs of the initial pilot, as well as the first 24 months of operation of the program. . Once effective and efficient care routes are established, the program will become part of the Primary Health Care model of the Social Security Health System, which will make it sustainable later.


The program consists of massively training the community, the Team will have community representatives who will contribute their knowledge and experience for the best development and adaptation of the program to the Colombian environment. Likewise, we will actively solicit the voices and participation of community members including those with life histories of mental health or substance use. A key part of our model is that the program instructors initially trained will be currently residing community members.


For the implementation of the pilot program, an approximate value at 2023 prices of USD$40,000 is estimated, distributed in design, printing and distribution of materials, purchase of audiovisual equipment, rental of spaces suitable for the workshops, refreshments, lodging and food for the workshop participants. and for healthcare professionals in the construction of care routes.

Cost of the project USD $ $ 40.000

Local Club USD $ $ 1.000

International Club/s USD $ $ 6.600

District 4281 USD $ 500

International District/s USD $ $ 18.450

Rotary Foundation USD $ $ 14.400

Thanks to your support, our club will help the community by solving its most important needs. We appreciate the analysis of this project. For more information contact:


Email: Mabuitragon@yahoo.com

Telephone: +(57) 3165361874

Primary Host Partner

District: 4281

Rotary Club of: Villa de Leyva y El Alto Ricaurte

Primary Contact: Miguel Antonio Buitrago Neira

Email: mabuitragon@yahoo.com

Primary International Partner

District: 5300

Rotary Club of: Las Vegas WON

Primary Contact: Chehab Elawar

Email: shadg201415@gmail.com

Project Status

Need $38,770
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Project listed for the 2023-24 Rotary Year.

Proposed Financing

Existing Contributions Towards This Project





Villa de Leyva y El Alto Ricaurte (4281)





Las Vegas WON (5300)





Remaining Amount to Raise

Additional Club Contribution (Needed) - Add a contribution




Amount Requested from The Rotary Foundation






Note: as of July 1, 2015 there is a 5% additional support fee for cash contributions. This fee does not appear in the financials above because it does not apply if the funds are sent directly to the project account (without going through TRF, and therefore without Paul Harris credit). Clubs sending their cash contribution to TRF must be aware they will have to send an additional 5%.

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History Log Entries


System Entry

System Entry: Creation of project page.


by Chehab Elawar

System Entry: Pledge of $100 with $100 DDF by Chehab Elawar of the Rotary Club of Las Vegas WON, District 5300.

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