Mission of the CAMHS workstream is to foster ongoing professional development in child mental health that is reciprocal and with the goal of improving children’s wellbeing, with both UK and Ugandan practitioners sharing and learning across the international context and across professional disciplines.These efforts are based on sustainable change, which is meaningful in the Ugandan context.
The CAMHS workstream collaborates primarily with Butabika Hospital Children’s Ward as a significant partner of the workstream.
The areas of work are not solely focused in Kampala but are about supporting child mental health training and policy development in other regions of Uganda. The Children’s Ward developed and grew as a separate facility within the hospital and now admits on average between 12 and 30 patients.
The membership of the workstream is inclusive and prides itself in sharing ideas for collaboration amongst practitioners from all disciplines and experience within child and adolescent mental health.
The UK charity LUNA are very important also with the agenda of the workstream. LUNA has a children’s rights project “Friends of the Children’s Ward” which helps with training local Ugandan volunteers on play therapy techniques. The local volunteers also assist in different ways in supporting children with creative activities on the ward. The LUNA Friends enhance the workstream’s efforts in helping the ward to forge greater links with the community around the hospital; in-particular through a local church and helping to fund the volunteers on the ward.
Key achievements of the CAMHS workstream:
- Two cycles of a two-year wide scale training of clinicians and nursing staff which concludes with an international CAMH Conference in Kampala in March 2017, the second of its kind.
- Workshops delivered on child protection and safeguarding across cultures.
- A three-month child resettlement pilot in which 16 children ready for discharge were traced and reconnected with their relatives with whom they had been estranged.
- Fundraising and installation of a children’s playground situated beside the ward (with the support of The Butterfly Project, UK/Uganda).
- A storytelling skills workshop delivered with Ugandan professionals and volunteers in approaches to tackle stigma about mental illness.
The workstream is open to further dialogue with the Butabika Hospital Management and colleagues in Uganda about ways to increase our impact in the best interests of children and young people affected by mental illness.
James Robinson (Social Worker and Chair)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or James.Robinson@towerhamlets.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 7979 557 837