BY JEHOSHAPHAT ODIDI AND CAITHEN NATUHWERA
After a week of vigorous activities geared at improving the mental health of the students of Uganda Christian University (UCU), the Health Awareness Week came to a close last week.
The week’s activities officially ended on February 7 with the staff lunch hour. Launched on February 2 at Nkoyoyo Hall, it saw UCU’s Guild President Timothy Kadaga and Rev. Canon Uziah Maate launch the week’s theme, “My Brother’s Keeper: Harsh Facts About Drug and Substance Abuse.”
In his speech, the guild president encouraged the students to participate in the week’s activities as it would improve their wellbeing at UCU.
The Health Awareness Week committee achieved a high turnout of students after over 170 joined health dialogue at Nkoyoyo Hall on February 4. This event was led by members from Honours College, the Allan Galpin Centre, and the para-counsellors.
Doreen Kemigisha, a social work student and author of the Honour’s College movie “My Decision”, addressed the students observing that it is amazing what cognitive empowerment can enable one achieve in terms of being highly aware of the thought patterns which is the first step to good decision-making.
The movie which was premiered at UCU calls for individual responsibility and action.
“Being your brother’s keeper, as the theme says, is really a reminder that we cannot and should not remain silent to the challenges felt by ourselves and others,” she said. “We should not, no matter how hard it seems. Let us be sensitive towards each other and make use of the Alan Galpin services; for there is truly nothing wrong with asking for help in time of need.”
The health dialogue also involved a question-and- answer approach between the members of Honour’s College and the UCU students in attendance. During the dialogue, Irene Ojambo, a seasoned counsellor from the Para-Counsellors department, shared about the different stages of addiction and how it builds up.
Ojambo said that addiction begins with tolerance to hard situations in life; this is followed by reliance on things that give an individual relief in tough situations; and finally the individual falls into a state of addiction.
Dr Mulindwa, the director of Health Services at UCU, shared about the adverse effects of using drugs which, he said, include sexual permissiveness, failure to concentrate in class and development of various diseases.