Since 2012 we have been part of the Gulu-Sheffield Mental Health Partnership which aims to work together and share best practice to improve the mental health support available in Uganda.
We've been working in partnership with a number of organisations in both Sheffield and Gulu, including the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital and the District Health Office. This also includes two service user and carer led organisations, Mental Health Uganda Gulu Branch and Heartsounds Uganda.
Background to the partnership
Uganda, in particular the northern region, was the centre of a civil war which began in the early 1980s and raged for more than 20 years.
During this time communities suffered the effects of a devastating terror campaign which the region is still struggling to recover from. People living in the region have high levels of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic disorders and a rising number of suicides.
The country has an estimated population of 43 million people, yet there are fewer than 40 psychiatrists working in Uganda.
What the partnership has achieved so far
By sharing our joint expertise the partnership is helping to make a real difference to hundreds, if not thousands, of people who need support with their mental health. Learning from this work is transferable to Sheffield.
Over the past seven years the partnership has organised a series of exchange visits with mental health professionals in Gulu.
The priority for the partnership has been to work with colleagues to improve the safety of mental health services. So far the partnership has supported teaching and de-escalation approaches to using physical restraint (the award winning RESPECT programme) and a suicide prevention programme, among other initiatives.
The Trust has also welcomed a number of mental health professionals from Gulu to Sheffield to spend time at our services as part of the Commonwealth Fellowship Programme.
Get involved in fundraising
The partnership relies on grants and money generously donated through fundraising.
So far our fundraising efforts have supported the building of a community centre in a remote rural community. It has also refurbished a ward to provide care for children.
Fundraising activities for the charity have included the Berlin marathon, three peaks challenge, skydiving, fashion and art shows, and the John O'Groats to Land's End cycle ride.
If you have an idea to help raise funds for the partnership then we would love to hear from you.
If you would like to make a donation to the project, please visit our Virgin Money Giving page here.
Thank you for considering making a donation. Every penny will help make a real difference.
Gulu market place
We have a range of items from the area that are for sale with all the proceeds supporting the work of the partnership.
Find out more
If you would like to find out more about the Gulu-Sheffield Mental Health Partnership or would like to get involved in the work we do, email us at email@example.com
You can also keep up to date with our latest news on the Sheffield Health International Partnerships Facebook group here.