Blog Articles

By Dorah Kukunda (Published 31st October 2016)

When I was much younger, I was naughty and overly outspoken and so, I often found myself in trouble. Sure I got my share of canes but what I remember was that even then, my mother always encouraged me to ‘speak my mind’ and never to keep silent when I knew that something was wrong and because of that I grew up knowing to speak out when I felt something was not fair which has over the years shaped me and looking back, I can say that I am grateful to my ‘big head’ and to my mother’s wise words which have helped me to never settle for less. 

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By Okot Benard Kasozi (Published 22nd July 2016)

Mental health is globally recognized as one of the leading causes of disability. However, a significant number of professional and non-professional stakeholders have trouble drawing connections between the implications of poor mental health status and some of the current socio-economic and conflict issues in Uganda that continue to dwindle citizens’ active participation in national development and harmonious co-existence. In northern Uganda, which suffered from brutal armed insurgencies and mass displacement for decades, the nature of the relationship between deep-seated dependency syndrome and mental health remains a challenge. 

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By Okot Benard Kasozi (Published 22nd July 2016)

An abridged version of this article was published as the “Letter of the Day” in the Daily Monitor newspaper,  14th July 2016.

It is worrying that, within two weeks, Ugandans experienced two fatal episodes of indiscriminate shootings by UPDF soldiers. These left over 10 citizens dead and others seriously injured at the Makindye Military Police Barracks in Kampala and in Mpumudde in Jinja district.

This generates a debate about mental health and sustainable peacebuilding, and raises questions on the relationship between mental health, indiscipline, human rights, and prosecution. Furthermore, it also makes me wonder how these shootings connect with a number of incidents in which former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) abductees in the north have reportedly brutally harmed family or community members using machetes years after their escape or rescue. As such, the question of unaddressed trauma, war stress, and peaceful ways of resolving conflicts is very critical.

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