Titian and Mental Health

Febriana Dwiyanti, better-known as ‘Mbak Ana’ by the Titianers (Titian scholarship recipients), is the main director for Titian Scholarship Programme. Aside from being a Programme Manager in Titian for approximately five years, Mbak Ana is still active involving in various activities related to psychology subject. Having a close relationship with Titianers, a friendly and warm person, a good listener—the most common impression many Titianers have about Febriana Dwiyanti’s figure. So, what is her perspective on Titian and mental health? In a short interview to commemorate Mental Health Day, Mbak Ana shares her perspective on how Titian maintains the mental health of the scholarship recipients and also other beneficiaries.

What keys do you use to keep all Titian Programmes running as planned?

Titian Foundation already has a framework for the programme. I adjusted things with the activities that have been done, and then I develop it according to the needs through times. All of this is conducted through coordination, communication, and teamwork in the field also with the Board Members, so that everything can run in harmony.

So far, what is the main foundation of Titian Mentoring Programme from your standpoint? Is it enriched with mental health content?

Our Capacity Building in the Scholarship Programme takes the basis of a predetermined framework. We pay attention to the stages of adolescent development and adolescent developmental tasks (psychological theory) and pay attention to the development of education and industry world, so that teenagers can adapt to all of them. Almost all of our mentoring themes are related to mental health, because it aims to assist students in solving problems and adapting to their environment. The experiential learning method that we apply is quite effective.

Since 2015, which mentoring session did you think made the most impression for the students?

Send-off events are always heartwarming. Titian Scholarship Programme carries out a very strict selection, right up to Home Visit and getting to know the families of students, accompanying the students not only in groups, but also individually. We have a track record of every child, so we know the student’s development from within years. Hence, the send-off moment in each year is so memorable.

What’s your take on the awareness of Titian students/environment towards mental health?

Mental health, based on the context that I apply, is that students be able to get adjusted in developmental tasks according to their age, also get used to the demands of the environment which they live in. In general, this has not been fully realized by the students, the students’ parents, and the surrounding community. The main reason is that the students come from pre-prosperous families, so their main activities are mostly focused on getting enough food. Sometimes, their attention to their own physical health is not sufficient; the simplest example is not eating healthy 3 times a day. When they have a wish, or just want to express an opinion and being listened, it is not necessarily fulfilled by their environment, in this case: by the parents. Titian tries to be present, filling the gap, and also becoming a family for them. Furthermore, Titian invited their parents twice a year to communicate about the ongoing process, so that parents can also be in harmony while accompanying their children. The facilitators also conduct home visits to bridge the communication needs between students and their parents.

Of course, in a way, the Mentoring Programme would have changed the behavior and mindset of Titianers. In your opinion, does this also have an effect on changing the mindset of the Titianers’ family members, due to the interactions they have in their respective homes?

So far, since I accompany the students and listen to their stories, from their parents in Parent Meetings, and also stories from alumni, yes, it is very influential, especially about their parents support regarding to the importance of education that can improve one’s quality of life.

Is there any particular educational/adolescent psychology theory that you implemented in the continuity of the Assistance Program at Titian?

Since my educational background is psychology, of course I apply all the knowledge and skills I have, but it is not limited to psychology theory, it could be multi-disciplinary, including various methods of mentoring such as experiential learning.

Talking a little about other beneficiaries besides the students at Titian, how does Titian develop and empower the community in terms of mental health?

Most of the programme is specifically designed for the community to increase skills that have an impact on their economy, yet in the process we include themes related to children and family assistance as well.

What book(s) do you recommend the most for students, other teenagers, and people around you?

There are lots of interesting reading books that I have read and I happen to be very interested in self-developmental books. Being Happy (Andrew Matthews); Who Moved My Cheese (Stephen Johnson), Young on Top (Billy Boen), Sejenak Hening (Adjie Silarus); Lakukan Dengan Hati (Dedy Dahlan), #sharing (Handry Satriago), On (Jamil Azzaini), and Mindset (Carol S. Dweck).

Any general tips do you give most often for scholarship beneficiary to maintain their mental health?

Know yourself first, accept and appreciate yourself, and try basic meditation practices (learn how to calm down and get focused).

Please kindly share your messages for Titian in commemoration of World Mental Health Day 2020.

Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.

Stop underestimating yourself.