Local Leaders in Isingiro District Advocate for Refugee Mental Health Support

Nakivale Refugee Settlement


Local leaders in Isingiro District have emphasized the importance of providing psychosocial support to refugees in Nakivale Refugee Settlement to address the mental trauma many of them have experienced. They have observed significant improvements in the well-being of individuals receiving therapy through psychosocial support projects by various development partners.

Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Isingiro District is one of Uganda’s oldest and largest refugee settlements, hosting over 180,000 refugees from seven African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. Many residents are rebuilding their lives after fleeing political turmoil in their home countries, which has left them traumatized.

Kizza Elias, a psychiatrist with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization in Uganda, notes that many refugees are dealing with mental health issues resulting from trauma, with some even attempting suicide.

Local authorities, in collaboration with psychosocial therapists led by TPO Uganda, have implemented various strategies to address this growing social problem. However, as the TPO project approaches its conclusion, district authorities are concerned that the progress made could be reversed, potentially leading to an increase in cases of mental illness.