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Mental Illness and Exclusion: putting mental health on the development agenda in Uganda

Rebecca Ssanyu


Mental health is more than the absence of disease or disorder. It is a state of complete mental wellbeing including social, cognitive, spiritual and emotional aspects. Mental wellbeing is part of an individual's capacity to lead a fulfilling life, which includes the ability to study, engage in gainful work or pursue leisure interest, and to make day-to-day personal or household decisions and choices. On the other hand, mental disorders relate to symptoms that affect thinking and emotions, as well as those that relate to the relationships of individuals with family and society, often resulting in an inability to cope with the ordinary demands of life. Disturbances to one’s mental wellbeing therefore compromise one’s capacities in a fundamental and enduring manner. Because of its close link to poverty (and economic wellbeing), it is imperative that mental health is given as much weight or even more as a development issue as it is given medically; and that appropriate programs are designed to address socioeconomic challenges resulting from mental disorders.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC Uganda Policy Brief


policy mental health discrimination Uganda


CPRC-UG_PB_2007-2.pdf PDF 325.9 KB

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