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Can innovative Self-Help workshops help meet the immense needs for mental health and psychological support amongst refugees?

December 15th, 2022    News

Uganda is one of the largest refugee-hosting countries in the world, hosting approximately 1.5 million refugees currently. Because of what refugees experience, many refugees can benefit from psychological support. Most refugees live in places where there are few mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services available. 

In response, HealthRight Uganda has worked with the World Health Organization, Government of Uganda, UNHCR, and other partners to translate, adapt and test SH+ with South Sudanese refugee women in Northern Uganda. SH+ is a guided self-help intervention, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), and consists of stress management workshops provided by supervised, non-specialist trained facilitators in groups. SH+ is aimed at psychological distress broadly. 

The research on SH+ that we have done at HealthRight over the past seven years, including controlled and uncontrolled pilots, and a cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT) (full article can be accessed here), has shown that SH+ is effective in reducing psychological distress among South Sudanese refugee women in Northern Uganda. 

With funding from Journey to Scale: Funding for Scaling Humanitarian Innovation supported by Elrha, we developed SH+ 360. In order to test our approach, we are collaborating with a large humanitarian and development NGO and a governmental partner in Uganda. HealthRight is providing leadership and mentorship across the project cycle (360 degrees – hence SH+ 360), while building partner organization capacity to deliver SH+. HealthRight is also offering technical expertise to partners around selecting, adapting, implementing and monitoring and evaluating SH+ when delivered alongside other programming. The project aims to reach 3000 women, most of which are South Sudanese refugees and Ugandan women living in or around refugee settlements in Northern Uganda. 

To read more about our SH+ project on Elhra’s project blogs, find the links below:

CAN INNOVATIVE SELF-HELP WORKSHOPS HELP MEET THE IMMENSE NEEDS FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT AMONGST REFUGEES? 

THE REALITIES OF IMPLEMENTING SELF-HELP PLUS – WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT SO FAR?