Monthly Archives: December 2018

Psychology Department receives visiting Professors from the University of Indiana, USA….

Category : News Updates

It was a hilarious moment when the department welcomed Professor Chalmer Thompson and Professor Barbra Denis from Indiana University.

Chalmer and Barbra have been long term colleagues for the department and have assisted in the development of Masters programme courses taught in the department and engaging the department members into different research activities.

inset ; Professor Chalmer attending to one of the stalls of the recent Counselling Open day,organised by Uganda Counselling Association

They arrived in Uganda in early September and spent over two months with the department members, brought up a new research grant proposal whose writing is underway, engaged in activities of reviewing the ongoing counselling programs, taught the graduate students especially professor Chalmer who taught them critical psychology course and qualitative research methods course units.

Inset; left – right prof Barbra, Prof Kagaari, Prof Chalmer.DrNamusoke Jane, DrMayengo Nathaniel at Entebbe Airport

We look forward to receive them again the coming year as we continue the collaboration that will help the department internationalize its activities and improve its visibility

Other images

Psychology newsletter editor

Psychology Staff gets PhD award from Mbarara University (MUST)

Category : News Updates

Mayengo Nathaniel, now dubbed Dr Mayengo a senior staff member in Kyambogo University, psychology department was one of the 11 individuals that were awarded a PhD in the recent 25th graduation ceremony.

Mbarara University of Science and Technology held a colorful 25th Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, 27th October 2018 at the university’s Kihumuro Campus Grounds.

The function, presided over by the university’s Chancellor, Prof. Charles Olweny, saw 964 students awarded Degrees and Diplomas of Mbarara University of Science and Technology. Of these 11 were awarded Doctors of Philosphy (PhDs).

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Celestino Obua provided a summary status of the university to the congregation.

The Minister of Education & Sports, Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni in a speech read for her by the Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, urged the graduands to remain ethical in the competitive world to which they were being ushered.

Dr Mayengo’s study was based on “self-determination, classroom engagement and academic coping strategies among Ugandan undergraduate teachers attending large university classes

His study was intended to address the challenges of quality which is attributed to the large classes in universities due to the increasing academic demands. His findings was that constructive academic coping facilitated by higher levels of determination is found to be very key in attaining quality education which is a requirement in attaining socio economic and  transformation as required and self-skills are very key in attaining these learning activities.

This adds up to the number of 6 PhD holders in the department, a 7th awaited pretty soon from Ms Namusoke Jane who is completing her studies in South Africa.

Psychology department has been longing for a number of PhD holders to spin it towards its absolute dream of becoming a “School of Psychology”, come 2021 and Dr Mayengo’s graduation was a boost and a foot in the door for the attainment of this dream.

Now Doctor Mayengo Nathaniel had these thankful messages to the members of staff that congulatulated him for the award;

“Aha my mentor, many times am short of the words to use to thank you and also describe your professional commitment. For some of us who have been lucky to receive your mentorship, we are proud of you, you inspire us and you have set a tough precedent for us. May the almighty bless you”  Dr Mayengo to Dr Olema David

“Prof .Adrian, thanks. Kindly take my prophesy” Dr Mayengo to Mr Kakinda Adrian a junior staff in the department

My man Ejakaiti,thanks” to Mr Abiru Egeju

My ‘X’thank you.Glory be to God” to Ms Lamunu Christine

“Big mentor Salongo,Many thanks” to Mr Gastone Byamugisha


BY Kakinda Adrian

Psychology newsletter editor

Head of Psychology’s message to the 2018’s graduands

Category : News Updates

The journey of education is one that is full of many ups and downs that the joy that comes with achieving each milestone is simply unfathomable. With that I would like to congratulate the 2018 Counselling Psychology graduands on adding yet another milestone to their journey.

We are so incredibly proud of you for all that you have learned, all that you’ve achieved, and all the ways that you’ve grown. You’ve used complex methodologies, bleeding edge technologies, and sophisticated statistics to do remarkable research. You’ve learned how to care for the wounded and afflicted – how to determine why someone is suffering and what can be done to improve their quality of life. And you’ve begun to learn how to navigate the tricky and at times treacherous waters of science and academia.

You are being ushered into a world that seems to be having more red lights than green lights. The picture painted by the statistics of a high youth population coupled with high levels of poverty and unemployment, is one that only denotes gloom. Despite all that, you are expected to not only earn a living for yourselves but also for all those that have supported your education to this level. With this burden laid before you, many fears, uncertainties and doubts come to your mind about whether or not you will find your place in all this and eventually make something of your education.

Well the statistics don’t lie and indeed what they say about the status quo is absolutely true. However the statistics do not tell the whole story for if that were the case we wouldn’t be sending you out there. Our nation has a lot of challenges that need to be addressed, many opportunities that must be utilized, and a lot of potential that is waiting to be exploited.

The world is changing everyday and with each day that passes, more and more opportunities are being created. The task being handed to you on this graduation is to identify these opportunities and use them, to realize the potential within yourselves and exploit it.

The world is changing everyday and with each day that passes, more and more opportunities are being created. The task being handed to you on this graduation is to identify these opportunities and use them, to realize the potential within yourselves and exploit it.

It’s this last point that I want to say more about – how and why we do what we do – because I think it’s arguably the hardest and most challenging but also potentially the most rewarding part of what it is that we all do. By virtue of being here this morning, you’ve all demonstrated that you have mastery of the skills needed to be a Counselling psychologist. My main hope for all of you is that by acquiring and honing these skills, you’ll have the opportunity to have a career that you value, that you will find rewarding, and that will repay you in kind for all of the blood, sweat and tears that I know you’ll invest.


I have confidence that during your stay at Kyambogo University, we have equipped you with the necessary knowledge, skills and exposure you require to not only exploit your potential but also the world around you. As the great Mahatma Gandhi once said remember that the world has enough for every man’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed.

So all of that’s to say that we want you to go out and achieve and do great things, make important discoveries, and push our field ahead in ways that we could never imagine ourselves. My charge to you is to please put just as much thought into how you make these important advancements as you do into designing the studies, selecting your assessment battery, delivering psychological interventions, framing your feedback to consulting clients, and writing your papers and grants. My hope is that you, and we, will be all the better for it.

Once again on behalf of the Department of Psychology and on my own behalf I would

like to congratulate this year’s graduands on their achievement.

Congratulations to all the new graduates who have successfully accomplished this most impressive of endeavors.


Ali Baguwemu (PhD)



Is there a crisis in student mental health?

Category : News Updates

Student mental health is a ticking time-bomb according to leading counseling psychologist Kakinda Adrian Ivan who believes it crucial that we break down the stigma of mental health problems, that we encourage student disclosure to ensure our young people get the support they need: he writes

It was Friday November 9thwhen Uganda joined the entire world to celebrate the mental health day and this year’s celebrations were held at Kyambogo University, psychology department in particular in conjunction with the Ministry of health and the theme was “young people and mental health in a changing world. “This explains the basis of my yell and frustration.

Starting university should be a time for having fun and making new friends. So why are we seeing record referral rates to student counselling services and reports of student suicides in the news? And what can universities do to help

Type ‘Student mental health’ into a search of Uganda news and you’ll be hit by headlines referring to: ‘The ticking time-bomb’, ‘Students being let down’, warnings that ‘problems are rising’. If you read these stories in isolation, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’re in the depths of a crisis in student mental health.In reality the picture is much more complex. In June this year, the Uganda bureau of statistics reported that the suicide rate among the general population is actually higher than the comparable age group of university students.

In Uganda, many students who join University and other institutions of higher learning have lived through a variety of difficulties, including high levels of poverty, loss of traditional social support and HIV/AIDS epidemic. Under these circumstances, it would be expected that, with the added pressure of studies, University students would exhibit high levels of psychological distress. However, the prevalence of mental health problems among University students in Uganda is unknown.

What the figures say

We know that, across the population, there have been increases in symptoms of depression and anxiety among young women. But there are real gaps in data and understanding. From what we know about university students, only two things seem to be clear; there has been a significant increase in reporting of mental distress and demand for support services. At some institutions as many as one in four students are either being seen, or waiting to be seen, by a university counsellor. So, what’s going on?

I believe that we need to urgently direct attention to understanding what’s changing for students. If we saw a dramatic increase in the number of students turning up in accident and emergency wings of hospitals with broken legs, would we ask for resources to be focused on improving orthopaedic surgery? Or would we ask why these students were breaking their legs and direct resources to reducing this risk?Focus on prevention

With a new Kyambogo University Research and Innovation grant, I’m working with colleagues across the country to develop a national research network to better understand why we’re seeing increased levels of mental distress among students and how institutions can respond. Two of the issues we’ll be looking at are the factors that contribute to mental health problems and the role that knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders play, known as mental health literacy.

Today’s students face numerous sources of insecurity. They are likely to be renting for years after they graduate which is nicknamed “dark days”, which is a do or die period of make and break period, with high levels of debt. They face a graduate employment market that is slimming down and speeding up. And any number of factors may be impacting upon mental health while at university, from the loneliness that comes with solo-living to the increased pressure to achieve high grades.

The increased adoption of Virtual Learning Environments and a 24/7 work culture may be adding to isolation. And, ironically, increased concern for risks around student mental health may be making academics more cautious about providing informal support, out of fear it may have an inadvertent detrimental effect.

Going beyond raising awareness

Mental health literacy first struck me as a key issue when I was listening to young adults speak at the International Association of Youth Mental Health conference. They raised concerns that their peers see campaigns saying, ‘ask for help’, but struggle to identify where ‘normal’ stress ends and a mental health problem begins. They aren’t sure if, and when, this message applies to them.

I don’t know how widely these views are held. But if we are to really support better mental health for students, we need to understand how to move beyond raising awareness and build good mental health literacy.

Learning from students

My Network, will be working with people with a range of expertise across higher education, including students, to improve our understanding of student mental health. We’ll collaborate with the charity Student Minds, as they work to develop a charter mark for mental health at universities. Our first step is to recruit a national team of students to lead a Student Research Team.

Ultimately, we hope that the insight we gain through the network will have an impact both inside and outside student halls. It’s an issue we can’t ignore.

But it’s absurd that students even don’t know where to get help, counselors are trained to handle such but the masses have consistently sidelined their professionalism by thinking mental health can be handled by each and every professional, you can tell this by wondering how many counselors have the ministry of health or private sector or schools employed? We need to raise the dust as we address this issue which is disgusting and heartbreaking when we focus on the future of our youths’.

The future will exonerate me!

By Kakinda Adrian Ivan

Counseling Psychologist, Kyambogo University