StrongMinds Uganda teams observed World Mental Health Day with several outreach and visibility events throughout October. Kalerwe Market served as the first mobilization site due to the large number of vendors who might be experiencing depression and other mental health challenges on Oct. 10. Throughout the day, staff and peer facilitators educated individuals about depression and provided information about StrongMinds’ free teletherapy services.
According to Charlotte Oolya, head of communications, partnerships, and advocacy, financial worries of business owners, such as capital loss and loan burdens, can be common triggers for depression. Consequently, the marketplace was an important setting to visit and spread the word about StrongMinds’ work.
“We are in this market today to raise awareness and mobilize clients,” Oolya said. “We are letting people know about the signs and symptoms of depression. We are also letting them know that if they are struggling, they do not have to struggle alone.”
Events continued with participation in various speaking engagements throughout the week, including a national mental health webinar hosted by the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda (NASWU). During the conversation, StrongMinds Uganda Quality Assurance Manager, Christine Nanyondo, joined other presenters as they discussed subjects related to depression and strengthening the resilience of individuals living with mental health conditions.
Festivities ended with a World Mental Health Day walk at Kyambogo University in association with the Ministry of Health and other key partners on Oct. 18. Overall, it was an excellent month of united efforts to make mental health a national priority for all.3