Mental Health Uganda (MHU), in partnership with Mental Helse Ungdom of Norway, are implementing project “Amplifying the Voices of Young People with Mental Health Issues in Uganda”. The project has two broad objectives:
1. Persons with mental health issues claim their rights and exert influence on matters that effect their life (Human Rights);
2. Persons with mental health issues achieve and maintain maximum self-sufficiency and optimal functioning in interaction with their environments (Health & Rehabilitation).
The project seeks to address the problem of accessibility to mental health care in the districts of Uganda, particularly for youth by establishing a national help line where people with, or caretakers of, people with mental health issues can receive a counselling session and/or guidance of where to find appropriate help. In addition, it will expand the existing peer-to-peer model by offering them the same training that we offer our counselors. This way, peers can provide more specialized support to people struggling.
The project is being implemented in 8 districts across 4 regions i.e. Northern region in Gulu district and Lira district; Central region in Mpigi district and Kampala district; Eastern region in Soroti district and Mbale district; Western region in Mbarara district and Kanungu district. It will be however coordinated from Kampala at the MHU secretariat.
To ensure that the project responds appropriately to real needs of the targeted population and in the most effective and efficient manner, MHU constituted a team of committed and inspired individuals to the “Reference Group”. The reference group has a general mandate to influence work, by providing advice and ideas of how certain activities should be organized, formulated and visually look. They will basically work as a test group on behalf of the beneficiaries, providing user advocacy during implementation.
Within the MHU organizational structure, this function was not foreseen. To ensure the central board’s prevalence over the Reference Group within the MHU structure, the Chairperson of the central board identified one board member, who fits the criteria, to sit on the Reference Group. Management, depending on circumstances has deemed necessary, updates the board on the functionality of the Reference Group, during
the board meetings.
Functions of the Reference Group:
On the request of MHU management, the team will contribute to the following:
i. Recruitment of project staff;
ii. Development of project training materials;
iii. Development of strategies for achieving specific project results;
iv. Participate in project reviews;
v. Preparing for and undertaking project evaluations;
vi. Missions by different project actors to Uganda;
vii. Others roles as may be requested from time to time.
Duration of engagement:
The Reference Group was engaged for an initial period of 2 years (ending in July 2022) after which, and upon review of the evolution of the project, members can reapply for the same role.
Composition of the Reference Group:
The group is constituted by 6 people;
Equal balance of males and females; (preferable)
Representation of all 4 regions of operation mentioned above (4 members);
A member from the MHU governing board;
A caregiver of a person with a mental health problem.
Profile of a Reference Group member:
All members should be adults between 18 – 35 years;
Regional members must have a lived experience of mental health problems or a caregiver of a person with a mental health problem;
Regional members must be making an active contribution towards the cause of advocating for required services and opportunities, for people with and survivors of mental health problems in Uganda;
Regional Representatives should be able to communicate in their major local language;
All members should have a basic understanding of the general disability rights and health framework in Uganda, especially at the local government level;
Be able to travel to Kampala at least 3 times a year for meetings or be able to participate via digital platforms;
Be able to express him/herself in English;
Formal education in the fields of law, health or marketing will be an added advantage.
Reference Group members are volunteers. As such they are facilitated with basic means/resources to enable them to participate in specific project activities or events.
Interested individuals should send a 1-page motivation letter and CV via email to
firstname.lastname@example.org not later than 4:00pm on Friday 11th June 2021.
Note: MHU promotes zero tolerance for discrimination/harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, religious beliefs etc. All staff and volunteers shall adhere to strict guidelines in order to facilitate “silent” inclusion. Members will also adhere to MHU’s safeguarding provisions – a set of procedures and practices designed to ensure that no harm comes to people as a result of contact with MHU’s programs, operations or people.