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Helping Depressed People Feel The Joy Of Life Again

Helping Depressed People Feel The Joy Of Life Again

ABSTRACT

Nowadays many people cannot handle the stressful conditions of life and get depressed. Most of those, who suffer this problem are unable to fight it alone, they need support to overcome it. And it is best when professionals take over such a task. The organization, ‘Joy’, helps those who endure hard times. They help such people make their old dreams come true, thus bringing them back to normal life. Besides, there are psychologists, who have not less than 5 years’ experience in “Joy” team. They work with each person individually.

In our opinion, problems caused by enduring difficult situations can only be fixed by changing the environment, not by taking medicines. Numerous researches have shown that the absence of stress, new place, new people, physical exercises and communicating with psychologists can have a brilliant effect on a person’s mental state.

The objective of the project is to organize the program due to which fifty people go to the rehabilitation center in Mendocino, California to spend a month there. They want to make those, who suffer, forget about their problems and to make them want to start the new life. Experienced psychologists will be involved, too, so that each patient’s recovery will be controlled.

The organization has already tried to implement a similar idea here, in the suburbs of Houston, and it worked even better, than they had expected. The people, who left the center, were happy and full of ambitions again. But beautiful nature and unfamiliar environment will have stronger effect.

“Joy” have already applied to the local government in Houston and received a part of the sum they need to build the center, which is 55 500 $, and there is still 34 200 $ needed by June 2015. Later on the center will be maintained on donations often made by those, who get rid of depression after they turn to ‘Joy’.

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PURPOSE

The main purpose is to help people, who suffer depression, return to the normal mental state and to make them enjoy their lives. Studies have shown that 48% of people, who are depressed, do thoughtless actions they would later regret, or gain other mental disorders.

There is no person in the world, who has not endured hard times, so everybody understands how important it is when there is someone who is ready to support them in hard moments. Sometimes the situation might seem so bad, that the one suffering sees no perspective in moving on with their life and cannot make a plan of how to change their lives.

It is easy to choose the wrong way in such a situation. Some people choose seemingly the easiest, but not the best method to feel better, such as taking alcohol and drugs. That is why it is very important that in such cases there is someone, who could help see that life is still beautiful and problems pass.

Very often, when feeling bad, people turn to doctors, so that they can help them suppress anxiety and sadness. However, medicines only help feel better for a short period of time, they do not make depression disappear completely.

The medical solution of the problem often leads to another one – addiction. Patients who take medicines to improve their mental state sometimes cannot stop, even after depression is gone.

Isolating from stressful environment and distraction from bad thoughts are the best way to make suffering people happy again.

The main objectives include:

  1. Help those, who endure hard times, to change their lives.
  2. Building a rehabilitation center by the ocean in Mendocino, California.
  3. Providing patients with due psychological support.
  4. Applying different methods to improve patients’ mental state.

STATEMENT OF NEED

The population of Houston is 2.19 million people, and according to the survey, held by the organization, nearly 17% of this number felt strong depression at least once in 2014. The enduring negative mental state may lead to serious consequences: people may hurt others, themselves, or become alcohol or drug addicts.

Depression can be caused by different situations: family problems; difficulties at work, school, university; financial problems; health issues; loss of close people etc. Sometimes the support of friends and relatives lead to recovery, but there are those, who suffer alone and cannot afford visit a psychologist or do not know where to go.

Besides, in such mental state people often do not know what to do to change their situation, they do not have any place where they can isolate themselves from the source of stress. Or they simply are too exhausted to undertake anything. That is why it is important to make such people feel they are not alone and that there is always someone, who cares about them and is ready to help.

Members of the organization are planning to send 50 patients to the center each month throughout the entire year, inviting in the first place those, who are in the most difficult condition.

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PROCEDURE

The program ‘Be Happy!’ will enable people who suffer depression to spend a month at the rehabilitation center on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Mendocino, California. The center is planned to be a three-storied building with a separate room for each patient. However, the building is not going to look like a hospital so that it does not remind those, who suffer, that they have any problems. Instead, the center will rather look like a nice hotel with self-catering. Only a beautiful view of the ocean from the window will be the reason to smile every morning. It will make patients be willing to wake up every morning and assure them that they will have a very nice day.

The program will include morning exercises on the beach, an everyday conversation with a psychologist, yoga classes, swimming and fishing time, and mountain climbing. Work therapy is also included: gentlemen will split the wood for the fireplace and ladies will cook meals for everybody. However, the type of work might be optional. Focusing on work will help forget about problems, and will make patients communicate with each other.

It is scientifically proved, that sport helps get rid of stress, that is why morning exercises, mountain climbing and swimming are important for the recovery of those, who suffer, as well as yoga, which also helps relax. Apart from that, that beautiful nature, fresh air and the sound of the ocean waves instead of the noise of cars will have very good impact on patients.

It is a wide-known fact that the person can be happy only when they are healthy. “Joy” will take care not only of mental health of the patients, but also of the physical one, thus there will also be a doctor, who will observe the state of each patient.

Timeline

Activities

Date

Submit Grant Proposal

March 2015

Expected Grant Notification

May 2015

Obtain building materials, hire people to build the center

June 2015

Training Session for the staff

July 2015

End the building works and furnishing for the center

August 2015

The initial test for patients for defining their mental state

August 2015

First 50 people visit the center

September 2015

Final test to define the mental state of the patients

October 2015

Prepare Results Report

October 2015

 

EVALUATION

It is not to be doubted that in order to evaluate the work and to prove that the idea works well, they will hold tests in order to check patients’ mental state. Thus, at the beginning and at the end of their participation in the program each patient will have to do a psychological test and to have a conversation with one of the psychologists.

Later, the results will be compared, and members of the orgamization will be able to find out whether the therapy has the approximately the same impact on everyone and what has to be changed to make the participants feel better. Apart from that, psychologists will also work with the patients throughout the whole program, so they will constantly keep track of how they feel.

Results from the initial and final tests for the first group of people visiting the center will be included in the Results Report.

DISSEMINATION

Quick spread of information might seem to have a little to do with the purposes of the project, but it is one of the main tasks indeed. The more people know about the project, the more can help implement it, and the more people the organization can help.

“Joy” will try to spread the information about the project as actively, as it is possible, in order to find those, who need help and whose lives can be changed to the best. There is an official web-site, on which the information will be posted. There is also a group on Facebook with 765 000 subscribers, who are always encouraged to share their news for the sake of those, who might be suffering and need help. Apart from that, the local radio, “MusicIsMyLove”, often agree to cooperate with “Joy”, so they can make a small advertisement.

It is also worth mentioning that the program is popular in Houston, thus many people follow organization’s news and know that they often organize new events or projects. Sometimes they even tell about their ideas and members of  “Joy” regard those of them, which they consider might prove successful.

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QUALIFICATIONS

Julia Brown, who is the organizer of the program, holds a PhD Degree in Experimental Psychology from Oxford University. They work as a chief psychologist of the organization. As for the experience, Julia Brown has worked as a private psychologist for 12 years. They also worked in the organization “Here comes the Sun” (help for the disabled people) and took part in the project, which provided support for those, who returned from the war in Afghanistan. Has been a member of “Joy” organization for 8 years.

Chandler Red holds a Master’s Degree in Social Psychology from University of Houston. They worked at Ashburn House Aged Care Facility for 6 years and then at “Help Me!” hot line for those, who feel depressed. Has been a member of “Joy” organization for 9 years.

Claire White holds a Master’s Degree in General Psychology from New York University. Before working at “Joy” worked as a psychologist at New York University. Currently also works as a private psychologist. Has been a member of “Joy” organization for 6 years.

Charles King holds an MD Degree in Clinical Medicine from Cambridge University. They have worked at Houston Methodist hospital for 14 years. Has been a member of “Joy” organization for 7 years.

Jamie Johnes has worked as a trip guide at “Around the World” company for 12 years before joining “Joy”. Their main task at the company was to organize mountain trips to the mountains, and this will be their job in the project.

Samuel Skinny has been a host in “Good Morning” TV program for 5 years, showing morning exercises there. His responsibility in the project will be to hold sports activities.

It is worth mentioning that each member of the stuff will be provided with a helper or several ones when needed.

BUDGET

The budget includes funds for building the rehabilitation center and furnishing it. A part of the sum of money required (55 500 $) will be covered by the local council. Members of “Joy” understand, that there are many other projects whose purpose is to help people with other needs than those, so they try to combine quality and economy.

Goods, services

Price

Building materials

–          Bricks

–          Concrete

–          Wood

–          Materials for roof

 

15 000 $

5 400 $

4 800 $

5 900 $

Decorating materials

–          Doors

–          Windows

–          Paint

–          Curtains

–          Carpets

–          Furnishing

 

8 500 $

7 900 $

2 300 $

1 500 $

1 400 $

25 000 $

The services of decorators

4 500 $

The services of builders

7 500 $

Total: 89 700 $

Food will be provided by charity organizations and by kind donations of “Joy” members.

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CONCLUSION

The organization has very good experience in working with those, who suffer from depression. They hope that this idea, as well as many others they implemented before, will help people become happier and avoid potential negative consequences of their problems. Beautiful nature, physical exercises, new people, the change of way of life and the help of professionals are the steps “Joy” are going to take to replace suffering with smiles.

Apart from that, we hope that the project will make everybody pay attention to those who surround them – be it their neighbor, co-worker or a shop-assistant in the supermarket they go to every day. Maybe there is someone, who feels miserable but a single kind word can cure them. Maybe there is someone who just needs you to smile to them. There are people whose troubles are very serious. But it does not mean that one has to go and make them disappear instead of every person suffering, but one can simply show them that the world has not rejected them and by this encourage starting the new life.

The most serious problems usually arise when there is no one who needs us. That is why our lives would be better if everybody treated others with love and kindness. Then there would be no problems in the world to solve.

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