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Academic overload fueling mental illness amongst
leaners

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Butabika National Referral Hospital Executive Director, Juliet Nakku has shown concern over mental health disorders amongst school-going youths that are on the rise of late.

Worryingly According to Dr. Nakku, 70 percent of the people admitted at Butabika National Referral Hospital are youth who are supposed to be
productive in the development of the nation.

To this end, Dr. Nakku recommended that there is a need to protect learners from academic overload which turns out to be top of mental health
disorders causes.

Speaking at a commemoration of World Mental health day, Dr. Nakku said that Butabika mental health clinic receives learners with mental
illnesses and upon research and interrogation, it’s found out that the mental disorders are academic caused.

LineSteppa Community

“Learners for example wake up very early for school yet also leave school very late on top of only being pumped with academic matters without time to interact with others, play to relax their brains.”

She further faults the schools’ activity planners for not taking the initiative of involving mental specialists but rather implementing activities at the expense of the learners’ mental health.

“In Some schools, learners go to sleep as late as 11 pm after the night preps and are woken up at 2 am for early classes and out of class at 5 am to start day class programs until 11 pm, this is truly killing the mental health of many young school-going children,” she justified.

To this end, Dr. Nakku called for immediate intervention by the Ministry of Education as well as the committee of parliament on mental health to
intervene.

Prof. Ssegane Musisi, a psychiatrist from Makerere University without retaliating against Dr. Nakku’s academic overload concern said that families’ have neglecting child care which includes among others; motivation, interfamily interaction, guidance, and counseling has since also crippled mental health sustainability amongst school going children.

LineSteppa Community

Geoffrey Macho, the chairperson, of Uganda’s parliamentary forum on mental health, recommended that the cure to the rising mental disorders lies in
bringing out mental health issues from boardrooms to public gatherings so that people can understand mental health and avoid stigma.

“There is also a need to mainstream mental health issues at all levels, we also urge for strengthening of the mental health policies within the ministry of health which also includes transitioning it from a unit to a full department.”

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