01 Aug

In a world where mental health is often overlooked, a beacon of hope shines in Koboko, where a three-year project is making a significant impact. "Enhancing community resilience through gender responsiveness and economic empowerment for the psychosocial well-being of refugees, communities, and migrants" has been spearheaded by Mr. Batali Gabriel Modi, the Project Officer at SSURA.

This ongoing project, is been funded by Cities Alliance and the Migration Global Programme, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

One of the notable activities conducted under this project was the "Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Outreach," held from June 26th to June 30th, 2023. The main objectives were to identify mental health cases, provide psychosocial support to those in need, and assess the clients' requirements. The outreach took place at Koboko Hospital and Koboko Trauma Healing Center, bringing together refugees, migrants, and nationals from various age groups.

The facilitators, Mr. Ledra Richard and Mr. Arike, employed a diverse range of approaches to engage the participants effectively. Through question-and-answer sessions, observational exercises, insightful lectures, and the shared experiences of other clients, everyone was encouraged to actively participate.

The outreach saw an impressive total of 285 participants, comprising refugees, migrants, and nationals of varying ages. The event successfully met its objectives, and the engagement level of participants was commendable.

The activity achieved remarkable success in multiple areas. First and foremost, the project managed to reach the targeted number of clients, ensuring a widespread impact. Moreover, many clients received much-needed psychosocial support, fostering a supportive environment for their mental well-being. Additionally, the outreach helped identify individuals with mental health issues, enabling timely interventions.

Despite its success, the project faced some challenges. One significant obstacle was the village health team's reluctance to refer mental health cases. This highlights the importance of ongoing collaboration and awareness-raising within the community.

On a positive note, valuable lessons were learned during the outreach. It was observed that men were more susceptible to trauma compared to women. Additionally, stigma surrounding mental health was evident, leading to negative attitudes toward affected individuals within the community.

The project's future recommendations include the engagement of a volunteer in Koboko Hospital who can dedicate their time and effort to enhance the overall effectiveness of the project. Furthermore, a follow-up on the clients with mental health needs will ensure their progress is continuously monitored and supported.

In the words of Oweru Joan, a dedicated counselor involved in the project, "Our efforts are bearing fruit, and we are witnessing positive transformations in the lives of those we support."

As this project continues to make waves in Koboko, it serves as a reminder that mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being. The commitment of the project team and the resilience of the participants are paving the way for a more inclusive and supportive society, where mental health receives the attention it deserves. Together, they are making strides toward a brighter and more empathetic future for all.

Author: Aldo Adomati, -Communications Officer, SSURA
* The email will not be published on the website.