MPs blame rise in mental health issues on early morning school reporting 

Uganda has a high prevalence of mental health conditions compared with other low- and middle-income countries. 

MPs have attributed the increased cases of mental health in Uganda to the gruesome early morning reporting time learners are required at schools, saying this has denied students enough time to rest.

The MPs say this has further exacerbated sleep by overloading the learners with assignments, with calls to have the Government expedite the enactment of regulations for the Mental Health Act.

The concern was raised by Sarah Opendi (Tororo DWR) ahead of the One-week Mental health camp organized by the Parliamentary Forum on Mental Health that is being held at the Parliament Gardens, where she asked the Government to regulate the schools’ timetables with a focus on reporting time, saying the current trend has left learners stressed.

“At the time we went to school, we would wake up at 6am or 7am and we are here as MPs, Minister, so why should we have today’s education system stressing the children of this country? So, I hope as MPs we can have a session when Parliament opens to discuss these matters and end this madness in schools,” said Opendi.

Dr. Hasfa Lukwata, Assistant Commissioner in charge of Mental Health, decried the high level of sexual violence at the workplace amongst top bosses who demand sex in exchange for promotion at workplaces, saying this has increased stress and mental disorders among employees.

“Workplaces together with schools are the biggest places of stress to the majority of people. And it isn’t that people don’t want to work, people want to work but the conditions under which they are working are wanting. The bosses are high up there, some are physically abusing the workers and they are denying them of many things or even forcing them to do much,” she said.

Lukwata noted that there is gender-based violence in workplaces and it is silent, but sexual harassment is one of them. She said there is a lot of sexual harassment.

Uganda has a high prevalence of mental health conditions compared with other low- and middle-income countries.

A Lancet Psychiatry correspondence reported that approximately 14 million people out of a population of 43.7 million, or about 32.0%, were affected by mental illness in 2022.

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