Nkumba University students lecturered on mental health related issues

The Nkumba University based Munange counseling association with partners; Uganda counseling association, Generation health initiative, Hope for restoration initiative and Uganda red cross society have today tiped students on mental health related issues during the mental health awareness day event organized by Munange counseling association at Nkumba University.

The main purpose of the event is to create a safe haven for mental health related issues among students of Nkumba University, many students experience extreme sadness, change in mood, a feeling of loneliness among others and it is during events like these that we are able to create awareness and encourage students to seek help at an early stage,” said Jamimah Nantale, a counselor with Munange counseling association.

Speaking on behalf of the Dean of students, Mr. Joseph Muyiira said that Nkumba University is one of the private institutions that has devoted alot of effort in improving the community well-being.

Mr. Muyiira revealed that, “most of the students we get are from humble backgrounds and mental health is eminent in such circumstances, for example,we had a student of Rwandan origin who was a victim of the April 1994 Rwandan genocide and every April, this girl would become schizophrenic and violent, it took us a great deal to engage her in such incidences,”

Mental health is real, but I thank Munange counseling association for their great deliberations in curbing mental health related challenges within the University,” he added

Kiravura Umar, the Director Generation health Initiatives, in a rather bizarre revelation narrated that: “In Kasanje, where I hail from, we woke up to bizarre news about an incident where a 70 year old man was ruthlessly hacked to death by his own grand son, this young man needed help, the community tried but failed. Mental health related issues are real”

Umar addressing students

“1 out of 5 children are experiencing mental health related issues, but with the initiation of Generation Health Initiative, we have embarked on engaging schools and communities to promote positive behavioral change and equipping care givers with parenting skills,” he added.

The Nkumba University Academic Registrar, Dr.Frank Pio Kiyingi noted that, Lock down and COVID 19 left latent content related to health illnesses seated in us , “we have not healed from the panic, stress, emotional detachment due to social distancing and other stringent measures that aimed at mitigating the spread of the pandemic, the problem was physical distancing but not social distancing. Social distancing instead denied people the opportunity to connect emotionally“, he asserted.

Students taking notes as Dr. Kiyingi deliberated on mental health related issues.

Dr. Kiyingi’s statistics show that 53% of Ugandans are emotionally exhausted due to the impact of COVID-19, he further states that grief, depression, alcoholism, adjustment disorder, psychosomatic disorder pathological grief, post traumatic stress are one of the most common signs of mental breakdown and called upon students to report such issues so that they can be managed in a timely manner.

Dr. Kiyingi has also developed a model that can help tackle post COVID-19 health related issues that he coined as ‘SPAP model’.

With this model, health workers are able test a variety of social attachments such as Space, Patience, Authority and Power to determine the health related issue a person may be suffering from.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Health and Uganda Counseling Association as published in the media in May 2022, about 14 million Ugandans are mentally sick with a majority suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.

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