The State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi has applauded Kyambogo University for championing the cause against psychological distress because the youth, especially university students are faced with many challenges that affect their academic performance.

She challenged everyone to be their own custodians and custodians of the people around them and to support institutions to promote the government’s programs and fight against all causes of psychological distress.

This was during the second counselling open day of Kyambogo University held at TTE grounds on February 19, 2020. The open day was organised under the theme; “Embracing Psychological support in our community”. At the same time, Kyambogo Community was celebrating the International Psychology Week which is held annually in April at the UN.

Prof Eli Katunguka – Rwakishaya, the Vice-Chancellor, Kyambogo University thanked the Dean of Students’ office for organising the counselling open day. He noted that Alcohol, drugs and internet addiction, financial issues, and HIV are common issues in our society. He encouraged everyone to test and know their HIV status.

“I hope that with the services you give, we shall be able to make a healthy society.” Prof. Katunguka said.

Ms. Mildred Tibananuka, the Dean of Students acknowledged that they have been blessed with hardworking counsellors from the time the counselling unit was established. She said they had the first-ever counselling open day last year and their efforts are geared to help students cope with the various psychological challenges.

Mrs. Kyosaba Winfred Biribonwa, the acting Senior Counsellor said that the 2nd counselling open day marked another journey of a thousand miles in making a psychologically stable state. She noted that the unit has since the last counselling open day registered improved visibility, number of clients supported, networking, trust from the students and participating actively in university activities among other achievements. She urged everyone to visit the Guidance and Counselling Unit for Psychological Support.

On the same day Prof. Katunguka launched the first-ever counsellor’s guide magazine intended to give information that can otherwise aid the change of behaviour, decision making, coping strategies and personal growth.

The event was attended by over 20 associations that exhibited including; Bristol college, Uganda Counselling Association, Kyambogo University Rehabilitative Initiative (KYURI), Hope and Beyond, Kyambogo University Medical Centre, Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance, Fight Drug Abuse, Sauti, Focus on Recovery Uganda, Uganda Blood Transfusion Service, Disability Center, East African Professional Counselling institute(EAPCI), Munnange counselling centre, Equator Community Development Resource Centre, Mental Health Awareness, Healing Talk Counselling Services, Kyambogo University Counselling Students Association and Kyambogo University Counselling and Guidance among others.

In addition to that, there was blood donation, and other free services like professional counselling, Hepatitis B screening, HIV counselling and testing and aerobics.