Mental Health Services & Psycho-social Support

Statistics on mental health in Uganda are scarce but estimates say 35% of the Population suffers

Some sort of mental illness at one time or another. The World Health Organization estimates that 90% of mentally ill people in Uganda never get treatment.

Uganda spends 0.7% of the total health budget on mental health while conditions are increasing rapidly with depression at 12-68%, anxiety disorders at 20-62% and alcohol dependency at 14% in the general population (Mental Health Policy, 2007).

Due to high levels of unattended to traumas and psychological distress the prevalence of mental disorders is quite high in post conflict areas in Uganda especially among refugee communities.

Our approach to mental health and psycho-social support is two pronged; it entails direct services delivery and training and capacity building.

Our mental health interventions are community based and premised on integrating mental health care into primary health care services. We work through public health facilities, supporting health workers and allied professionals acquire essential competencies in mental health care such as correct diagnosis, treatment regimens and management of facilities.

At the community level, our mental health approach comprises social support interventions which aim to improve the psychosocial wellbeing of families, improve livelihoods, and promote social inclusion of persons with mental illness and epilepsy. Patient Support Groups are integral to providing a platform for peer support among care givers, sensitization of communities on myths around mental health and reduction of stigma. Thus TPO Uganda also manages cases of depression, trauma and anxiety arising from war and sexual and gender based violence experiences through provision of individualized and group therapeutic interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy, PM+ among others.

Through a combination of basic best practices and global recommendations we have supported the healing of families and communities in the aftermath of conflict and other socio-economic shocks. TPO Uganda is presently providing integrated support to refugee communities in West Nile, Western and northern Uganda districts