The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded Network for Africa a grant for a 3-year project in Northern Uganda. Starting in October 2019, this new pilot programme will provide livelihoods training and livelihoods start up grants to people with mental illness (and their care-givers) in Agago District, northern Uganda. The project will support 400 people who will have received treatment and counselling for at least a year as part of our wider holistic mental health programme. Participants will be far enough along their recovery ‘journey’ to benefit from training to understand and advocate for their needs. We will support them as they form groups, with training in leadership, decision making, advocating with a collective voice, and human rights. As well as receiving training in livelihoods suitable for their condition and local market conditions, they will be trained to analyse information about their lives, providing context to advocate for their needs. Their economic success and improved demeanour and confidence will challenge the community’s preconceptions about mental illness. We will learn from this model, hoping to scale up to benefit many more people with mental health issues in Uganda.
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 National Lottery Community-funded programme to provide livelihood support for people with mental health issues in northern Uganda.