Uganda + 2 more

Mental Health Assessment: Kyaka II Refugee Settlement, Uganda

Originally published



CLINICAL PRESENTATIONS: (many are understood to be in line with traumatic experiences including witnessing of violence of all forms, SGBV, and mass murders)

• Anxiety • PTSD • Epilepsy • Depression • Psychosis • Puerperal psychosis • Drug misuse and addiction • Communication Difficulties TREATMENTS AVAILABLE:

• Medication therapy • Inpatient admissions as indicated and available (extremely limited and physical environments not conducive to recovery)

• Psychoeducational (limited due to lack of resources but is offered as much as is possible despite obstacles)

• Family involvement in recovery both inpatient and outpatient • Individual therapy (varies between centres therefore standard operating procedures are considered essential but have not been possible to date)


• Cognitive Behavior Therapy • Anxiety management • Psychoeducation • Group therapy • Occupational therapy • Psychosocial support • Relaxation • Specialized counselling for sexual abuse survivors • Relationship/couple support alongside parental management • Speech and language therapy CHALLENGES:

• Understaffing • Lack of funding • Shortage of medication; volume and choice • Insufficient appropriate spaces to cater to providing mental health therapy • Shortage of specialized therapies • Insufficient in-service training • Lack of community education to support referrals • Lack of community awareness of services • Lack of support for mental health care workers


With the increasing refugee population in the Kyaka II settlement, the primary health care system remains at a constant risk of being overwhelmed by new arrivals. Existing health centers are currently operating beyond capacity, stretching limited resources, healthcare personnel, medical supplies and ambulances for referral services, which affects the quality of service delivery. There is a need to reinforce the existing health care system by setting up new health facilities with a more comprehensive range of interventions.