Jamie’s African legacy celebrated on World Mental Health Day
CWP, together with the charity Jamie's Fund and Kisiizi Hospital are celebrating the opening of a brand new mental health centre in Uganda – named the ‘Ahumuza’ Centre.
Avril Devaney MBE, Director of Nursing at CWP, comments “The centre is a beacon of hope that aims to give shelter and love to those with mental illness. ‘Ahumuza’ translated into English means ‘a place of comfort’.”
The centre is also a lasting legacy for Jamie Devaney, Avril’s son, who died in Uganda aged 4 on a fundraising trip with his parents in 2011.
Jamie’s death touched many people in Uganda, neighbouring Kenya and the UK. His parents and friends set up Jamie’s Fund in response to the overwhelming support and offers of help that flooded in. Through this fund, and the hard work of family and supporters, the money was raised to build the new mental health centre in Kisiizi.
Avril comments: “I was honoured to be asked to attend the grand opening of the Ahumuza Centre. It is an amazing place because of the people who are there. The motto of Kisiizi Hospital is ‘Life in all its fullness’ and we are more aware than ever that full lives can be lived whatever a person’s circumstances. We are incredibly comforted to know that people will continue to be blessed because of Jamie’s life.”
The Ahumuza Centre incorporates facilities for day patients, as well as male and female in-patient wards and facilitates a range of support including occupational therapy. There has also been a specialist area included to provide care for people who are very distressed. In addition, there are also outside gardens and recreational areas for the use of those at the facility.
As well as this, the Ahumuza Centre will also be a hub of community work and offer training and support to healthcare workers. One of the partnership’s key goals is to reduce the stigma of mental health in the region and to also support the rehabilitation of patients once they return to their homes.
A variety of exchange visits and shared learning has taken place between Kisiizi and CWP, and the partnership has gone from strength to strength.