StrongMinds @10

Advocated for and achieved issuance of Circular 20- to allow schools create one hour for mental health in their schedules.

As we mark 10 years of work in Uganda, StrongMinds celebrates the national award it received from the Ministry for Health for its creativity to use Volunteers to scale up treatment of depression using a low-cost model called Inter Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPTG).

While presenting the award to StrongMinds at the national celebrations for World Mental health day 2023, Ministry of Heath Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine said; "we salute StrongMinds for rolling out this cheap model that is delivered using lay community volunteers. Speaking after receiving the award, StrongMinds Uganda Acting Country Director Vincent Mujune said "we thank Ministry of Health for this recognition and we dedicate the award to our amazing team of 1,972 Volunteers who get the job done ."

We recognize that Uganda is ranked among the top six countries in Africa in rates of depressive disorders (4.6%); Miller et al., 2019), while Ministry of Health 2022 says about 14 million Ugandans suffer from atleast one form of mental illness. In Uganda, mental health, neurological and substance use disorders are a major public health burden (Mugisha et al., 2018). Depression, anxiety disorders, and elevated stress levels are the most common, sometimes leading to suicide attempts (Farzaei et al., 2018).

Over the years, StrongMinds has;
• Received Ministry of Health National Award for creativity rolling out talk therapy as a first line treatment for depression in Uganda.
• Treated over 300,000 clients with depression since 2013 & we plan to treat over 200,000 in 2024.
• Launched talk therapy for inmates in Prisons.
• Provided teletherapy service to over 40,000 clients during the Covid 19 lockdown & after.
• Advocated for and achieved issuance of Circular 20- to allow schools create one hour for mental health in their schedules.
• Scaled treatment of depression through NGO partners i.e MUCOBADI that is integrating mental health into HIV programs in Busoga region, lnPACT is integrating mental health in KP programs and indigenous Batwa people in Kigezi region, AFOD in refugee communities in West Nile as well as Windle International in Schools of Lamwo & Adjumani.
• Conducted media outreaches to raise awareness on depression & mental health.
• Used Graphical emotion cards model for illiterate communities & exported this model to USA.
• Provided indicators for depression and mental health in the new draft HMIS for Uganda.