Gulu City found seven teachers with mental illness. Two have fully recovered and five are yet not recovery.
Gulu – January 14, 2022: Education department of Gulu City is puzzled after over eleven teachers developed different forms of mental illnesses.
One education official attributes it to “inadequate psychosocial support in the past two years of Covid-19 negative impacts”.
Evelyn Achola, headteacher of Lukome Lawiyadul primary school in Gulu City said three (3) of her teachers will not report to school.
Of the three she said, her deputy is mentally ill and currently admitted at the mental health unit in Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.
Another teacher got involved in a road crash, became mentally ill and is being treated.
Achola also told TND News that a child of one of the teachers is battling cancer at Mulago Cancer Institute. “These factors could affect learning in this school,” she noted.
She (Achola), however, appealed to the government to hurry up and support Lukome primary school by recruiting new teachers to fill the gap created.
Local communities were to be supported in handling and treating mental illness.
Project Officer for suicide prevention at Gulu Sheffield and Mental Health, Freddy Odong revealed that the government is not supporting people with mental illness.
“Only 1% of total support for people with the problem,” he added.
At Sheffield, he said they only have volunteer staff working to manage mentally ill patients.
“Mental health hiked during the Covid-19 lockdown and people with mental illness have to take medication for six months to be fine,” Odong added.
Charles Sunday Amanda, a clinical officer at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital and head of the mental health unit said there are a “limited availability of drugs in the hospital” which sometimes cause caretakers to buy drugs from an outside clinic at a higher price.
“Government cannot afford to buy drugs to supports mental illness,” he told TND News Lil Romeo, adding that over 500 patients suffering from mental illness are being recorded on monthly basis.
“A research carried out shows that 90% of people now admitted with mental illness abused drugs.”
In the last financial year 2020-2021, Gulu City found seven teachers with mental illness. Two have fully recovered and five are yet not recovery. Four more were discovered this year bringing the total to eleven (11).
Lambert Akena Lamex is a councillor representing the workers union in Gulu City Council. He confirmed that eleven (11) teachers are suffering from mental illness.
“The Ministry of Education and Sports is monitoring and supporting them; observing whether they are recovering well.”
Akena is worried that more cases might be recorded because of the challenges some teachers are involved in.
Principal Education Officer [PEO] of Gulu City, Richard Irwenyo said last year they registered seven cases of mental illness among teachers: two have recovered well while 5 are still getting treatment.
Irwenyo noted mental illness is caused by health-related issues like inadequate psychosocial support, domestic problem, and Covid-19 challenges. The latter reason, he said contributed to high cases of mental health as some teachers were not paid a salary.
“Gulu City has 1,300 teachers including head teachers in both government and private schools. 41 government primary schools, 7 secondary schools; 76 private schools and 4 tertiary institutions.”
District Education Officer (DEO) of Gulu district, Akena Casers said they have not yet registered any case of mental illness among teachers, but stressed that they are going to monitor and detect any case related to the mental health of teachers and report them for early treatment.