Operation Dayswork Project 2022 – Mental illness in Uganda
In March 2022, Norwegian students decided that Youth Mental Health Norway’s project, together with SOS Children's Villages, would be the focus of the 2022 ODW project. In November 2022, hundreds of youth across Norway raised 11.5 million NOK for our project "Taboo, Shame and Mental Health in Uganda."
Mental health in Uganda
Stigma and shame prevent people talking about mental health problems in Uganda. Many young people are therefore left to deal with difficult emotions alone. Furthermore, mental illness means that many young people do not complete their education and job opportunities later in life are therefore limited.
What will the project do?
The ODW project will run from 2023-2025 and will work towards breaking down the stigma around mental health and support young people with access to professionals to better the condition of those affected by poor mental health in Uganda. To achieve this the project will:
1: Normalize mental health problems and break down the stigma
The lives of young people struggling with mental illness are made even more difficult by old-fashioned attitudes and discrimination.
At 8 different schools in Uganda, we are recruiting a group of young people who will plan and carry out their own information campaign on mental health. Through these campaigns, we will showcase that mental health problems are completely normal in a teenager’s life, and something we should talk about, not hide.
2: Provide a low-threshold, more accessible mental health service
At the same 8 schools, we will establish a low-threshold service where young people who are struggling, will have someone to talk to when life becomes difficult, without worrying about the shame and stigma. In Uganda, there are very few places where young people can go to talk to someone if they need to. Due to stigma and prejudice, no one talks about mental health problems, and therefore schools have very little knowledge about how to deal with this. This is something we want to do something about!