Topic: Violence and abuse

TREAT INTERACT: Implementing a user involved education- and health system INTERACTive task-shifting approach for child mental health promotion in Uganda

We will develop a mental health intervention for primary school teachers in Uganda by adapting a school version (mhGAP-IGs) of the World Health Organization´s (WHO) «Mental Health Gap Action Programme Intervention Guide» (mhGAP). Both teachers and health workers will receive training in mhGAP, and systems for collaboration between the school and health sector as well as other relevant stakeholders will be developed and integrated. The project is conducted in close collaboration with key stakeholders from the Ministry, the health and education sector, the police, civil society, and religious leaders. The aim is to increase mental health literacy among school staff, facilitate a healthy school environment, and increase detection of mental health needs among primary school aged children.

2021 This project is ongoing 2026

Project Manager

Project Members

Project aims:

Through intersectoral (health, education, police, community, religious leaders, NGOs, local political leaders) collaboration, the aim is to promote mental health and treat mental health problems among primary school children: 

1.Teachers deliver evidence-based psychosocial support to primary school children.

2.Teachers identify children with mental health problems in primary schools.

3.Teachers refer primary school children with mental health problems to the CAMHS.

The project is divided into four work packages:

1. Develop a school version (mhGAP-IGs) of the mhGAP-IG with user involvement.

2. Implement the adapted mhGAP-IGs in primary schools and investigate effective implementation strategies and teacher outcomes.

3. Implement and test the mhGAP-IG in the mental health system, and investigate an intersectoral supervision, referral and communication model between the health and education sector.

4. Develop implementation advice to guide policy-makers in how to implement and sustain large-scale evidence-informed interventions for youth. 

Work package 1: Intervention and implementation mapping to plan the intervention in a systematic way.

Work packages 2-3: Implement the mhGAP-IG and the mhGAPs and test implementation and teacher outcomes through a stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial where 18 schools will be randomized into 6 cohorts that will receive training in mhGAP within 18 months. Data will be collected at baseline and before and after a new cohort receives mhGAP training.

Work package 4: Participatory action research and framework analysis to develop evidence supported implementation strategies to ensure sustainability.

The Norwegian Center for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS) is project owner. The project is conducted in collaboration with Makere University of Public Health (Kampala, Uganda). Norwegian collaborating partners are: The Norwegian Institute of Publich Health, University of Bergen, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The research project is supported by grants by the Norwegian Research Council.