• Banner photo credit: Simone Fior

PROGRAMME: Awareness Raising

Location: Agago District, northern Uganda

  • Ongoing

Awareness-raising is an essential and integral part of BNUU’s community mental health programme. BNUU holds regular community awareness-raising sessions in the areas in which it works. These are attended by at least 30 people, many of whom have not been aware of mental illness and the treatment that is available. This awareness-raising results in many community members coming forward for treatment at the monthly mental health clinics and starting their journey to recovery. They go on to join self-help groups and eventually will be given livelihood start up items and continue in good health, free from poverty.

Photo credit for gallery images: Simone Fior

In October 2023, BNUU organised the first ever World Mental Health Day in Agago District and actively participated in national and regional celebrations with the theme “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right”. The event was attended by political leaders, teachers, religious leaders, representatives from national and regional mental hospital, the army, police, young people, parents and 12 NGOs.

On the eve of World Mental Health Day, BNUU organised a campfire gathering to discuss challenges affecting relationships/marriages and develop possible solutions. Young people had selected this topic due to widespread domestic violence that has led to depression. The gathering was attended by young people, political leaders, mental health organisations and practitioners and elders from the community.

Photo credit for gallery images: Simone Fior

BNUU also took this opportunity to provide psycho assessments, counselling, family planning services, diabetes and tuberculosis screening and HIV/AIDS testing. The event concluded with a football match between the private and NGO sector and district political leaders, attracting media attention. The event was broadcast through Uganda’s media network (over 80 local radio stations), 2 national TV stations and was featured in the New Vision national newspaper.