Celebrating 10 years of the Gulu-Sheffield Mental Health Partnership

To celebrate 10 years of the Gulu-Sheffield Mental Health Partnership, Kim Parker (Clinical Lead for the partnership) has written a blog about the achievements of the partnership since its launch.

In June 2012 the Trust's then Chief Nurse met with the Gulu Hospital Director and the Patient Safety Partnership was born. During that time some incredible work has been done. These are our best bits.

Gulu group


A team of Respect instructors were trained in Gulu and 400 hospital staff have received Level 3 Respect training plus many staff on annual updates.

Over 800 staff have been trained in suicide awareness and prevention, which includes training trainers who then trained health staff, community leaders, journalists and senior people with political influence. This training was made possible thanks to two grants from the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET) and the Burdett Trust for Nursing and enabled us to provide support to Gulu with the pandemic. Almost 400 clinical staff from hospital and health centres and Village Heaths Teams have been trained in psychosocial support of people with COVID-19.

There have been other types of training provided too, including mental health awareness and Epilepsy awareness, with over 1,800 staff and people in the community now having been trained in total.

With donations and fundraising we have built a community centre in a remote rural village, created and opened a ward for children in the mental health unit, installed rain harvesters, opened a borehole and provided physical health monitoring equipment to the mental health ward and the wider hospital, plus much much more.

Gulu suicide poster


We enabled a 10k race around Gulu town to promote suicide awareness, with more than one hundred runners taking part.

We have three papers published and a blog on our work has been published on the Tropical Health Education Trust website.

31 staff from SHSC have travelled to Gulu and 27 staff from Gulu Regional Referral Hospital have studied as Commonwealth Fellows at SHSC, making the partnership a genuine two way partnership.

We have applied for (and been awarded) a number of grants and led several fundraising activities to enable this work. We have established a registered charity to support fundraising called The Sheffield Health International Partnerships.

Our current fundraising activity is to provide clean beds to the mental health inpatient unit as basic amenities like food, linen and a clean bed are not provided by the hospital due to a lack of funding.

Imagine having sleep on a bed like the one pictured below. 

You can donate by clicking here

Bed in Gulu

We are currently working with the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield on a large research grant application between the university and Gulu University which may open up opportunities for staff to get involved.

If you would like to find out more about the partnership and how you can get involved you can email the team or contact:

Kim Parker, Partnership Clinical Lead

Greg Harrison, Partnership Co-ordinator

You can also follow the partnership’s work on Facebook or Twitter.