Title: Delivery of sustainable low intensity mental health interventions, training, and mental health promotion in Northern Uganda
Funder: QR GCRF sustainable partnership award

£39,580

Internal collaborators: Professor Markus Reuber, Neuroscience; Professor Paul Norman, Psychology; Professor Brendan Stone, English; Dr Veronica Barnsley, English; Dr Chris Millard, History;Dr Kathryn Easton, ScHARR

External partners: Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Foundation Trust; University of Gulu, Uganda; Gulu Branch of Mental Health Uganda; Gulu Regional Referral Hospital; Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Project summary

The project aims to identify sustainable low intensity psychological interventions (LIPI) for use in Northern Uganda. The interventions will target common mental health problems, adverse coping reactions (such as heavy alcohol use), and seizure management. The specific types of presentation to be targeted are based on our awareness of the needs of the specific population based on prior field trips. The project will look to develop a training and supervision programme/framework that will ensure that the interventions developed can be delivered.

The project will build on an existing healthcare partnership and conduct additional networking activity, pilot field research, and build capacity to enable us to seek funding to conduct investigations of usability and acceptability, and ultimately trials of the LIPIs and our training programme/interventions. The project has two objectives: 1. Identifying low intensity psychosocial and behavioural interventions, that are potentially culturally appropriate for use in Uganda and would be good targets for further testing; 2. Set up a programme or framework for increasing the number of people capable of delivering such interventions. This would ultimately lead, to the developmenting of a curriculum and training programme for healthcare providers and peer supporter/community workers.

This interdisciplinary project draws on collaborators from within the Medical Humanities Centre of the University of Sheffield. The project aims to compliment the emerging World Health Organisation’s portfolio of LIPIs, by identifying existing interventions that could be targets and for developmenting for usethose in such a way as to be usable in Uganda. The project will build on our existing partnership with institutions in Uganda. The existing Gulu-Sheffield Mental Health Partnership (GSMHP) primarily consists of Gulu Referral Hospital and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust. There are also links with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, NHS services in Manchester and service user led organisations in both countries.

In summary, the funding will assist in sustaining our partnership via a) building capacity within the existing healthcare Gulu-Sheffield partnership; b) conducting essential preparatory work to facilitate further grant applications