- Training and supporting local health professionals, officials and leaders
- Fighting stigma about mental health and epilepsy
- Reaching 3,500 vulnerable people in a remote, post-conflict community
Based on our success in Patongo (see below) Comic Relief has given us a grant for a 3-year project in 4 new areas in Northern Uganda. Starting in December 2017, this new programme will strengthen local mental health provision by working with, and developing, existing health structures. We are adapting and replicating our successful Patongo counselling programme, broadening its scope to target other mental health issues including epilepsy and psychosis. Directly benefiting 3,466 people (1,824 with mental disorders and 1,642 of their carers) through counselling, referral and treatment, there is an extensive training programme not only for project staff, but also for village health teams, local councillors, health centre staff, and key community leaders, building knowledge, raising awareness and ensuring long-term sustainability. A key part of the training is community education sessions, designed to raise awareness and share positive messages about mental illness, in order to reduce stigma and encourage people to seek treatment. The programme will follow the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Mental Health Gap Action Plan (mhGAP) for mental health provision in poor countries. In addition, beneficiaries will form self-help groups in order to advocate for better mental health provision, raise the profile of mental illness and work together to start income generating livelihoods.
Basic Needs UK in Uganda (BNUU) is a Ugandan NGO that supports access to mental health services through training, research, advocacy and awareness raising, targeting sufferers of mental disorders. It addresses stigma, discriminatory policy, access to quality mental health care and poverty affecting people with mental illness. Basic Needs UK in Uganda will be implementing our new Comic Relief-funded programme to support people with mental illness and epilepsy in northern Uganda.