Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
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Kampala
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank

Unlocking Mental Health Support: Stuart Kasule’s Urgent Plea for Suicide Prevention Models in Uganda

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In a compelling effort to address mental health challenges, Stuart Raymond Kasule, a 29-year-old suicide prevention trainer and mental health advocate based in Australia, is urging Uganda’s Ministry of Health to prioritize the implementation of effective suicide intervention and prevention models. Speaking to the press in Kampala, Kasule emphasized the need for mental health awareness campaigns that tackle the issue without perpetuating stigma.

Uganda’s current suicide ranking, 17th globally with 18.67 per 100,000 deaths attributed to suicide, underscores the urgency of Kasule’s call. He highlighted the necessity of training healthcare professionals to identify and respond to mental health and suicide issues appropriately. Kasule urged the Ministry of Health to actively support safe talks and awareness initiatives in public spaces and schools, equipping people with the knowledge to combat stigma effectively.

Citing alarming statistics from the World Health Organization’s global suicide report, Kasule stressed that one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds, making it a leading cause of death, particularly among the youth. He recommended the adoption of suicide intervention and prevention models from Living Works Australia, endorsed by the World Health Organization, with an emphasis on adapting them to Uganda’s local and cultural context.

Dr. Hafsa Lukwata, head of the mental health division at the Ministry of Health, expressed support for the decriminalization of suicide, ensuring victims can access essential services without fear of legal consequences. Kasule’s appeal aligns with the broader call for practical mental health models at all levels, from households to the national stage, to effectively address the challenges faced by those dealing with mental health issues.

Andrew Kyamagero, a prominent male activist, emphasized the critical need for comprehensive data to understand the extent of mental health challenges in Uganda. He called for the integration of mental health discussions into community health strategies, ensuring health workers are equipped to address mental health and suicide issues effectively at all levels of the healthcare system. Kyamagero underscored the importance of scaling mental health initiatives to reach all segments of society.

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