Uganda Mental Health Grant
Community Mental Health Services & Economic Development in Uganda is supported by a partnership between the Rotary Club of Kampala Munyonyo (Uganda) and the Rotary Club of Denver Mile High working with the non-profit organization Findmind. This project is taking place in Agago District, Northern Uganda for 9 months starting in August 2021. It will address the two most important needs that community members identified in meetings with local Rotarians in 2019- 2020.
The cooperating organization Finemind is the key implementing partner. Finemind supports community mental health through a peer to peer support system. Finemind is active in Agago District and has the support of the District Health Office, local chairpersons, and Uganda’s Ministry of Health. The non-profit organization successfully completed a District Grant with the Rotary Club of Denver Mile High in 2019.
The 9-month project consists of two primary activities: 1) mental health counseling and 2) an empowerment skills training that offers saving, banking, and business tools.
Finemind currently has 18 community members who provide mental health counseling to Agago community members.  This grant will enable 10 additional community health workers to be trained in mental health counseling, as well as two additional lead trainers to be hired and trained. Current lead trainers and community mental health workers will be upskilled to provide supervision and peer counseling support. These trainings will create a pool of 28 community health workers to provide 13,000 counseling sessions in nine months. In addition, 50,000 community members will be educated about mental health via an ongoing radio talk show. Rotary Club of Kitgum (Uganda) will offer monitoring and evaluation support.
The grant will also provide empowerment skills training  for 100 women who have either successfully recovered from depression or have been caregivers of mental health patients.  These women will participate in intensive business training that will equip them with relevant skills that encourage the community to dream bigger and to move beyond a mindset of ‘need’. The total amount of the grant is $64,800.
The decades-long conflict in Northern Uganda caused by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency resulted in untold suffering. Between 60,000 to 100,000 children were abducted and over 2.5 million people were displaced.  Most of the 1.7 million people who lived in camps have since returned; however, recovery and development efforts have been insufficient. One study indicates that more than two-thirds of internally displaced persons in northern Uganda meet symptom criteria for depression.