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Mainstream mental health in all gov’t agencies, Mpuuga tells gov’t


Mainstream mental health in all gov’t agencies, Mpuuga tells gov’t

Mpuuga officiating at the mental health camp

Parliamentarians have been urged to push for the mainstreaming of mental health in all its departments and agencies in order to address the growing challenge of mental health.

Mpuuga made these comments while officiating at the second Mental Health awareness camp at the Parliamentary gardens. Mathias Mpuuga, a Commissioner of Parliament, urged his colleagues on the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Mental Health to start legislation that will ensure that all government work has an element of managing mental health.

Citing the example of the early campaigns against HIV/AIDS, where all entities had an HIV/AIDS prevention agenda, the Nyendo – Mukungwe Member of Parliament stressed the significance of government planning for mental health services in all its departments and agencies.

Mpuuga noted that the move will help to reduce the growing number of mental health cases in the country but also ensure adequate budgetary allocation for mental health facilities, drug stocks to offer treatment.

“Is it impossible to mainstream mental health in what we do in different departments , in private sector , I think this is where this invitation leads to, I want to challenge members of the parliamentary forum on Mental health to lead the mainstreaming of mental health in all government work….. , parliament can do anything that can change the trajectory of events in this country, we can make it happen to mainstream mental health”-Mpuuga

At the same camp, mental health experts called for urgent passing of the Alcohol Drinks Control bill 2023 into law to address substance abuse that is responsible of an increase in mental health cases.

Dr. Hafsa Lukwata, the commissioner for mental health and control of substance abuse at the Ministry of Health said in addition to the Mental Health Act 2018, the Tobacco control Act 2015 and the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act, 2023, the proposed Alcohol Drinks control Bill 2023 should also be passed into law.

Dr. Lukwata noted that enforcement of the Alcohol Control Bill and other laws in place would go a long way in preventing mental health cases.

“we are waiting for the Alcohol Drinks Control bill 2023, we do not know when this will come to pass but we pray that this happens, substance abuse is the number one cause of mental disorders especially among the young people, so we really have a problem, we can not sit down and keep quiet about Alcohol. We know there is a lot of background noise from the industry which gets quite an amount of money, but our people are being affected negatively so we badly need this bill out”-Dr. Lukwata.

Busia Municipality MP Geofrey Macho, who is also the chairperson Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Mental Health proposes that the Mental health unit at the ministry of health be upgraded to a full-fledged department in order to attract the appropriate funds for mental health activities.

Mental health programs at the ministry of health currently receives very little money however this time round the committee of health and MPs’ recommendations in the August house mental health was given some little money.

“our outcry is that wherever we give money to mental health, the Non-Communicable Diseases take every thing, that is why we are requesting government to upgrade the unit if mental health with the ministry from a unit to a department so that Dr. Hasfa can be able to get money to implement her projects and programs very well,” Macho noted



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