groups » Conversations from the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) » The Power of Social Support
We, at the SHM Foundation. hope you will share your insights on the power of social support in tackling mental ill health.
Through our Project Khuluma, we have gathered their own findings on the power of social support, and its limits, in addressing the mental health and wellbeing needs of adolescents living with HIV/AIDS (ALWHA).Khuluma is a pioneering support group model run by the SHM Foundation that provides psychosocial support to closed groups of 10-15 adolescents living with HIV/AIDS (ALWHA) via text-message. A lack of social support can have a detrimental impact on health and wellbeing and there is increasing evidence to show that having access to social support can help to mitigate against depression and is a vital component to HIV treatment and care.
An analysis of the pre and post questionnaires bookending our support groups showed that there was a significant increase in feelings of social support amongst participants who took part in Khuluma. Messages of encouragement and advice were common with some participants mentioning that communicating with others had helped them to think more positively about living with HIV and to feel that they had a future. The desire to engage in friendships, make friends and increase their support network was very clear.
We'll be presenting these findings at the International HIV/AIDS Conference in Durban, July 18th-22nd. Follow us on Twitter during the conference and beyond, @SHMFoundation, to keep up to date our findings and insights. You learn more by visiting our website - www.shmfoundation.org
We hope you share your own insights on the power of social support during the week of the conference.