With funding from AstraZeneca Young Health Global Grants Programme, ICODI is implementing a project titled “Sports for Health” aimed at using sports alongside buffering hypothesis and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as therapeutic tools to raise awareness and prevention strategies as well as reduce stigma related to mental illnesses among 4000 adolescents and youth (12-30 years) in Nakivale Refugee Settlement and surrounding rural host communities in Isingiro District-South Western Uganda. The project also aims at strengthening early detection of mental disorders among adolescents and youth and to improve on the referral for those identified adolescents and youth with mental illnesses to access early treatment. It also aims at helping the beneficiaries to challenge and change unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviors, improve emotional regulation and develop personal coping strategies in order to alter unwanted behavioral patterns or treat mood disorders such as depression that is common among adolescents and youth.
The project has so far reached more than 2068 adolescents and youth and more than 1978 have been assessed for mental disorders, 48 adolescents and youth have been assessed with mental disorders and have been linked or referred for further diagnosis and treatment.
It should be noted that the increasingly negative effects of Covid-19 amongst adolescents and youth populations such as lack of employment, food, and other basic necessities have continuously led to an increase of domestic violence cases among youth-led families, this has not only destabilized families but also increased cases of drug and substance abuse, stress and depression as well as increased anxiety among adolescents and youth which is slowly leading them to have mental health disorders.