Since 2012 we’ve been part of the Gulu-Sheffield Mental Health Partnership which aims to work together and share best practice improve the mental health support available in Uganda.
We've been working in partnership with an number of organisations in both Sheffield and Gulu, including the Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, the District Health Office and two service user and carer led organisations, Mental Health Uganda Gulu Branch and Heartsounds Uganda.
In Sheffield, the Trust hosts the partnership and works with other organisations across the city.
A bit of background
Uganda, in particular the northern region, was the centre of a civil war which began in the early 1980’s 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, depressions, post-traumatic disorders and a rising number of suicides.
The country has an estimated population of 43 million people, yet there are less 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, amongst 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 draws no central funding from the NHS, and instead relies on grants and money generously donated through fundraising – and that’s where we need your help.
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.
We’ve done everything from the Berlin Marathon and Three Peaks Walk to skydiving, fashion and art shows, and the John O'Groats to Land's End cycle ride to fundraise for the charity.
If you’ve got an idea that you think will help us raise funds we’d love to hear from you.
If you would like to make a donation to the project all you need to do is head over to our Virgin Money Giving page by clicking here.
It doesn’t matter how much or little you can give, every penny will help make a real difference.
Gulu market place
We have brought back 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 just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can keep up to date with all our latest news by visiting the Sheffield Health International Partnerships Facebook group by clicking here.