Category Archives: Graduands

A message from the head of Kyambogo University, psychology department: Congratulations, Class of 2019!

To the Psychology graduates of the Class of 2019,

This is YOUR day. We applaud you, we honor you and we stand with you during this momentous time.

Today we recognize the accomplishments of the undergraduate, graduate students in the department of Psychology of Kyambogo University. Your dedicated pursuit and successful attainment of your respective degrees will allow you to make a difference in the health and well-being of our region as future practitioners, counselors, educators, researchers and leaders.

You made it! You persevered through the years, studied dutifully, spent countless hours at internships or clinicals, put it many late nights and early mornings. You may have even balanced academics with both family and/or work life, but you made it and are now sitting

Change: A simple definition of change is “to become different”. During the past few years you have made choices that will have a huge impact on your future. YOU have changed. Your experiences while at Kyambogo University have altered your perceptions about the world and about yourself. Your experiences will continue to be the lens in which you see the world. Many changes have occurred in your personal and academic endeavors and that’s simply a part of life. Change will always be around the corner. It transcends you, builds you and most of all – helps you grow.

Inclusion: What makes psychology department exceptional are the bonds that hold together one of the most diverse campuses in our nation. And, in the words of Vice chancellor Prof. Elly Katunguka, “Our University derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all. We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges.”

As a future health and human service professional, inclusion is something you will embrace wholeheartedly, as the ones you will go on to serve will come from all walks of life.

Responsibility:  Each of us has the power and responsibility to become a rainbow in the clouds. Prepare yourself to make a bold difference in your profession and in the lives of those you have chosen to serve.

And, as we reflect today lets be reminded of those who have been our rainbows in the clouds – those who have guided you along the way and supported you throughout your journey. This day also serves to honor them – family members, friends and other loved ones. Those who have lifted you up and on whose shoulders you stand tall. To those who surround us in rainbows of love and friendship, we give you our highest gratitude.

Graduates, you have been well-equipped by your department and faculty at large ,a faculty who are leaders and researchers, who are recognized for excellence in teaching, and whose dedication, hard work, and passion have guided you to this day. To the faculty, staff and administration of the department of psychology, we say “thank you”.

Graduates, as you go forth as members of psychology Kyambogo University 16th graduating class, and alums of the department of psychology, be proud of your individual and collective accomplishments. When you leave here today, you will represent the department as alumni who will make a difference and truly impact our region in critical ways. Know that your alma mater and your faculty and staff are so very proud of you. And perhaps more importantly, please know that we are all counting on you to help create a thriving, mental health region, bringing to life our university motto, “Knowledge and skills for service.”

For the impactful contributions and the difference we know you will make in our region and beyond, we say “thank you” class of 2019.

Congratulations to each and every one of you.

Thank you.

Henry Kibedi, PhD



Dr. Ali Ayub Baguwemu to Bid Farewell from headship of department of Psychology, Kyambogo University


By Kakinda Adrian

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”

This 28th November, 2019 will be the last day for Dr Ali Ayub Baguwemu’s stint at the helm of the psychology department of Kyambogo University which he assumed in 2015 up to date.


Dr Ali joined Kyambogo University service in 1994 as ITEK, crossed to UNISE in 1996, and then joined kyambogo university department of psychology with a merger in 2003, thus enjoying 25 years of service.

Apart from teaching and heading a department, Ali Baguwemu has served on numerous committees at Kyambogo University and for many years he held the position of head of department. Dr. Ali joined the department of psychology in 2012, and has led the department through a major reorganization. The department’s accomplishments under his leadership include the successful launch of the PhD in educational psychology, which will graduate the first PhD degree recipient in December of next year. The department also underwent a major revision of its master’s programs to include the new master of counselling psychology and master of organizational psychology, which prepares students for many clinical, counselling and research career opportunities arising from healthcare transformation.

Inset above: DR ALI (RIGHT) sharing a moment with Professor Elegbeleye (left)

Dr. Ali received his BA in education in 1985 from Makerere University, his MS in educational psychology specialty in 1992 from Makerere University, and his PhD in educational psychology in 2010 from Makerere University. In addition to his position as head of psychology department at Kyambogo university, Dr. Ali has had a distinguished career including as the Kyambogo university council member (2012-2016), Editor of African journal of special needs education for five years, chairman and national secretary of Uganda Ahmaddiyah Muslim association education scholarships as an active researcher and author, and as licensed educational psychologist with extensive experience in therapy and assessment.

Ali’s career achievements reflect his interest in research, particularly in the fields of the psychology of religion, social psychology employment of people with disability and children with disabilities and experimental psychology. His research has been published numerous times in a variety of academic journals and he plans to continue this type of work in his retirement. “I hope to do writing in the areas of psychology of people with disabilities and philosophy of education. I also plan to continue my mentoring of young academicians,” Ali said.

 “It has been my pleasure and honor to serve as head of psychology department,” Ali said. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard, what we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from”. Ali added. He says that he has enjoyed the support of the colleagues

The department houses an outstanding and five academically rigorous and internationally competitive programs, along with an innovative clinic and internship program. Kyambogo University psychology students are truly a joy to work with and give meaning to our joint endeavors. I have grown to care deeply for my psychology department colleagues and students and will miss them profoundly. I leave sadly, yet with the joyful knowledge that I made a difference.”

The students Dr Ali has taught are perhaps his greatest source of pride. “I am proud of where our graduates serve today. Collectively psychology graduates are doing many wonderfully impressive things,” he said.

Professor of Psychology James Kagaari, who has been a colleague of Dr Ali for 25 years, said of him, “He’s one of a kind and will never be replaced.” James named one of Ali’s major contributions as “helping the Psychology Department get to a point where we have an impressive record in terms of getting students into grad school.” More than 95 percent of psychology graduates who apply are accepted.

His biggest dream is to see the department becoming a school, training and doing extensive research to uphold the mission and vision of Kyambogo University and has left a well-designed plan for the next head of department. Dr Henry Kibedi, an organizational psychology specialist is the next head of department for a period of four years.


Established in 2002, our department has had a long and successful history with many psychologists contributing to its success since its beginnings. The Department of Psychology is one of seven academic units in the Faculty of Education.

Great effort is expended in developing students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We desire that these students be equipped with the knowledge and methods that will place them at the forefront of progress in the psychological disciplines as we enter the twenty-first century.

With the vision of being an internationally recognised as a centre of learning and research that advances knowledge, addresses contemporary social issues and improves people’s lives and behaviours and a mission of training practical professionals to transform communities and organizations through restructuring, rehabilitation and consultative research in areas of psychology, clinical, counseling, mentoring, organizational and community development in line with Kyambogo University mission.


“We will miss Dr. Ali’ strong leadership in the department of psychology,” said Ag. University counselor MS Winnifred kyosaba. “I want to express my deep gratitude for all that he has accomplished during her tenure as the head, and I look forward to his continued work with our students and faculty on a part-time basis through the subsequent academic years to come.”

 “I don’t know how you say good-bye to whom and what you love. I don’t know a painless way to do it, don’t know the words to capture a heart so full and a longing so intense.”
prof Chalmer Thompson

“It was so painful to here about your retirement. You have  been an  inspiring, cheerful thoughtful, generous, proactive and devoted professor thus thank you for all the years of unselfish service to our great country, Kyambogo university in particular. The knowledge and skills you have imparted in us are a treasure that will forever remain in our minds and we promise to pass it on to the next generation . Retirement from work is not retirement from life , may God give  you the strength and wisdom to  continue with the good work you are known for.May you find success wherever you go and enjoy your retirement. Farewell!!!!”-Nabatanda Gloria, counselling student

” I wish that you have many, many more days to spend with us. You are a special person to all of us, we love you and we will greatly miss your words of wisdom and encouragement. Goodbye! ” Ms Kirabo Nakasiiita Nkambwe,Assistant lecturer- department of psychology

” Not only have I enjoyed working with you; I have also gained experience on how to build a good reputation, be loyal and stand by our family, friends and country. Farewell and good luck! ” Mr Barugahare Vicent, Examinations cordinator

“Congratulations on your retirement! Thank you for all the years of unselfish service to our great country and for leading by example. May you continue to find success wherever you may find yourself. Goodbye my great mentor! ” Ms Nakanwagi Carol

” It’s indeed a great pleasure to share this special time with you. You are a tower of strength and knowledge. If the world can have more people like you, indeed the world would be a much better place to make a living. We are who we are today, much to your efforts in a team and as a leader. Goodbye and hope to see you again! ” Dr Nathaniel Mayengo

” The knowledge you have imparted is a treasure that will forever remain in my heart and I promise to pass it on to my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. May God grant you all your wishes as you move! ” Mr Kakinda Adrian Ivan




“What mental health needs is more sunlight,more candor, and more conversation” Glenn Close


Tomorrow, Uganda will join the rest of the world to commemorate and celebrate the World Mental Health Day which is observed on 10th October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. This acts as a spring board for my writing of this article.


Adolescence (1019 years) is a unique and formative time. Whilst most adolescents have good mental health, multiple physical, emotional and social changes, including exposure to poverty, abuse, or violence, can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health problems. Promoting psychological well-being and protecting adolescents from adverse experiences and risk factors which may impact their potential to thrive are not only critical for their well-being during adolescence, but also for their physical and mental health in adulthood.

Generally mental health is the level of psychological wellness or being ,it’s therefore a state where an individual minds are functioning at a satisfactory level and these help individuals (adolescents )to cope up with various aspects in their lives for example them dealing with daily stress ,being vital in society etc.

Drugs and substance abuse are leading causes of mental health disorders

With prior knowledge an adolescent ranges from the age of 10-19 years with it being one of the most crucial stage of life, development as a process, maintaining of social and emotional habits .It’s been on understanding that almost half mental health of the adolescents starts at an early age of about 14 years and these have been due to depression over several issues they face in their lives. Adolescence is a crucial period for developing and maintaining social and emotional habits important for mental well-being. These include adopting healthy sleep patterns; taking regular exercise; developing coping, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills; and learning to manage emotions. Supportive environments in the family, at school, and in the wider community are also important.


At this age an adolescent is so reserved and can’t easily disclose enough about the challenges he or she is going through yet they need a lot of attention and information about variety of problems that affect them for example getting involves in risky sexual activities ,intoxication(use of drugs and alcohol) of which we are in a generation where various parents have failed to fulfill their responsibilities of guiding their children mostly adolescents and this hence therefore makes them assume all is well thus keeping  wasteful way of life .

Some adolescents are at greater risk of mental health conditions due to their living conditions, stigma, discrimination or exclusion, or lack of access to quality support and services. These include adolescents living in humanitarian and fragile settings; adolescents with chronic illness, autism spectrum disorder, an intellectual disability or other neurological condition; pregnant adolescents, adolescent parents, or those in early and/or forced marriages; orphans; and adolescents from minority ethnic or sexual backgrounds or other discriminated groups.

Some of the mental health disorders in adolescents include 

  • psychosis
  • Suicide and self-harm
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • eating disorders
  • Childhood behavioural disorders

Most of it all mental health has to be promoted in all possible ways of life

  • Transdiagnostic interventions – for example, those which target multiple mental health problems.
  • Delivery by supervised staff who are trained in managing adolescents’ specific needs.
  • Engaging and empowering caregivers, where appropriate, and exploring adolescents’ preferences.
  • -Face-to-face and guided self-help methods, including electronic mental health interventions. Due to stigma or the feasibility of accessing services, unguided self-help may be suitable 

Parents should play a great role with the adolescents thus effectively be mindful and pay attention to the adolescents because they need a lot of guidance on how things are done in order for the adolescent not to have issues that break them in the future. Group and one on one counseling where an adolescent is able to share their heart felt issues with a professional counselor or therapist In order to be helped effectively and make stand still and great decisions for their lives.


In conclusion therefore it should be clearly noted that mental health differs from mental illness .And most of the youths aren’t certain about their mental health .And we need to come together and promote mental health in adolescents in the best way possible in order to make mental health certain to all adolescents out in the country and the world at large.

Key facts

  • One in six people are aged 10–19 years.
  • Mental health conditions account for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10–19 years.
  • Half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age but most cases are undetected and untreated.
  • Globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15–19 year olds.
  • The consequences of not addressing adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.
  • Mental health promotion and prevention are key to helping adolescents thrive.



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