Atukunda Joseph

Patient Leader

As per Dr Dave Baillie Consultant Psychiatrist Recovery Team North Passmore Edwards Building, Ground Floor Shrewsbury Road East Ham London E7 8QR Telephone: 020 475 8000 Fax: 020 8475 8414 Website: http://www.eastlondon.nhs.uk RE: Re: Joseph Atukunda (08/02/1969) I am a Consultant Psychiatrist working for the East London Foundation Trust, and have previously worked on a two year sabbatical volunteering in Uganda, at Butabika and Mulago psychiatric hospitals and Makerere University. I am a past chair of the Butabika-East London Link, and have been involved in teaching and training in Ugandan mental health since 2003. I have known Joseph Atukunda since 2011, when I met him at Heartsounds Uganda (HSU), a mental health service user group for which he is the founding member. Since then, I have worked alongside Mr Atukunda in his work at Heartsounds, in a number of initiatives, including establishing a Peer Support service at Butabika Hospital, and setting up a Mental Health Film Club and a Hearing Voices Group in Kampala. In 2012, Mr Atukunda became as Commonwealth Fellow visiting UK for 3 months to learn about service user involvement in mental health services. We have also taught together on the East African Diploma for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, run by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Mr Atukunda has been an inspirational leader in the service user movement, talking frankly and openly about his experiences in a number of different settings, including a BBC documentary, on national TV and radio, at local events (e.g. Kampala Rotary Clubs) and multiple public engagement events and extensively on social media. Re Page 2 His pioneering leadership role has been recognized in Mr Atukunda being asked to join the Board of the World Federation for Mental Health, and the Vice President for the Africa Region since 2017. He is also a Consultative Advisor to Kahigiriza Compassion House and a Member of the Board of Trustees, of Twehunduze, a family faith based CBO. I have known him to be an articulate, engaging and charismatic person with lived experience of mental health problems, who has spoken with passion and force, about his own experiences and the wisdom that he has gained through his experiences. I have seen him nurture other people with lived experience, and give them the courage to talk publicly about their own experiences and to get involved in service user leadership initiatives. I have seen him inspire hope in disadvantaged groups and motivate service users to aim above the limitations that are often put on them. He was very involved in the early planning of both informal and formal Peer Support services in Uganda, and has experience of setting these up and in observing other peer support projects in the UK. He has a good knowledge of mental health structures in Uganda, both of statutory governmental services but also NGOs and allied organisations, and of Peer Working initiatives that have begun in Uganda. He has been very involved in advocacy work in Uganda and beyond, and is a well recognized public face of service user involvement. His track record demonstrates that he is passionate and dedicated to the cause of mental health. I hope this brief letter of recommendation is sufficient for your purposes, but if you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above address. Yours sincerely, Dr Dave Baillie, MBChB, MRCPsych Consultant Psychiatrist My Interests Internet, reading, swimming, spirituality and Peer support, career encouragement among others.

Location

Mbarara, W

Your enthusiasm and strong commitment to support others in mental distress and support a more compassionate response to needs

As a person who recovered from a mental illness, Joseph is a great example for many people, with or without a psychosocial disabilities. He is a passionate coordinator and advocate for the rights of his peers. He knows how to speak and attract attention for his cause and is able to think out of the box, 'crazy ideas'. Joseph spends 7days/24 hours on Heartsounds Uganda and this peers support and resource project is inspiring lots of people in Uganda and far behind. Joseph shares his ideas, pictures and experiences on Facebook almost everyday and never forgets to support others or react on questions and comments. He knows how to use social media.  — Roos

Joseph has been working so hard to promote mental illness awareness within the youthful community of Uganda where resources are so scarse and conditions often dire.  — Frank

the lad has put too much effort into something he started and this is rapidly spreading very first in Ugandan communities who have always believed that mental health related illnesses are as a result of bad spells by others or voodoo on to others. also that his peer group aims at helping and giving support to service users through recovery journeys is of greater importance. I agree with him when he says that service users will be brought to clinical psychiatry nurse training lecture rooms so as to be able to tell there story as they are the experts in there stories,something which produces reality on table to psychiatric students and opens them up, this is what is done at the London south bank university to which am happily part of .  — jamil peterson

He inspired me into joining Heart Sounds Uganda and i really discovered the talent i had long ignored of helping others.  — Edema

He is so passionate about mental health and he does a great job raising awareness on facebook.  — Barbara

A really active and passionate activist in mental health care in his country.

For turning a weakness into a strength and using it to change his community and support those who are still where he was as a patient and thus making their recovery much more smoother than his was. He is giving hope to the hopeless.  — Adyeri

For his courage not to give up against all odds  — Gary

I consider the excellent work of Heart Sounds, the organisation that Joseph founded should be recognised for its impact on the lives and recovery of so many people from mental ill-health through peer support  — Anthony

Joseph started heart sounds and many other projects to help people with various mental disabilities e.g. bipolar etc. This has helped them build their self esteem and confidence. In addition, they have learnt vocational and life skills that have improved their livelihoods, incomes and status in society. He started as a young man and used his own when initiating the project, today, i must say it is a full fledged programme with increasing members who are better persons. he has also been resourceful to the community. Please read more on www.heartsounds.ning.com

he deserves it through experience  — ivan

He is been a great advocate for the mentally challenged people and has played a consummate role in uniting them despite their diverse needs  — Samuel

Joseph is one of the founders of Heart Sounds in Uganda. He has helped raise awareness on mental health and has provided a community centre for people in the society that are recovering or have recovered from mental illness. This has created a sense of belonging for those people recovering from mental illness and reduced the stigma associated with mental illness in the community.  — Sheila

He has used facebook to create mental health awareness within and outside Heartsounds, Uganda.  — Odoki

Atukunda Joseph

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