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Befriender Uganda Profile

Befriender Uganda, a non-profit organization is a crisis intervention and suicide prevention Centre. The organization is a volunteer based service provider to troubled teens and mentally ill persons in our communities. We provide “a listening ear” to people employing Face-to-Face and Helpline (0800200450- toll free) mechanisms to offer services. We work to address suicide as a public health and mental health problem that no one else is addressing. Our programs and activities are focused towards crisis intervention and risk assessment targeting mainly young people having discovered the risks they face. Programs like the ambassadorship trainings where we go to the communities; for instance in secondary schools, the organization has been recognizing recommendable results as per the objective of promoting Help-seeking behavior among the teens.
The organization works closely with psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists, social workers, and counselors in managing crisis hence suicide prevention and research promotion.

For more information about our programs visit our website: Like our facebook page: Befriender Uganda

Happy New Year

Happy new year to all Befriender Associates.
Lets keep up the initiative and save even more lives in our communities.
Lets reach out more.
Lets Beat The Heat in 2015 like never before.

Befriender Uganda

Befriender Uganda is the first and only Suicide Prevention center in the country which provides counseling, psychosocial support and sensitization services to the local person at no cost.

Suicides being a taboo in the African culture, people fear to talk about these tragedies in our communities. This has led to the manifestation of this social problem hence high rates of suicide related activities in the country.
After realizing that suicide was one of the leading life snatchers in our communities, a pilot project study was done in Wakiso and Kampala District in 2009 and an experimentation of activities that would awaken people were conducted. 10 secondary schools benefited which provided ground foundation for the project’s activities which resumed fully in 2012 at Old Mulago Hospital.

Globally, more than 800,000 people die by suicide every year – around one person every 40 seconds if calculated. This is according to WHO’s first global report on suicide prevention, published in September 2014. It is noted that 75% of suicides occur in low and middle-income earning countries which definitely rounds-up Uganda.
Suicide cases have been on the increase over the recent years. In the past three decades, statistics from the Ministry of Health have indicated a roller-coaster increase which should not be happening.

People face financial stress, political stress, relationship stress and end up with no territory to comfort their distress until they choose deliberate self-harm to stop the pain. In this case, we organized a launch of awareness we themed “Out of Silence.” This was a walk through Kampala district’s suburbs like Mulago, Kalerwe, Makerere, Wandegeya which are part of both Kawempe and Rubaga Divisions. This walk was to let people know that there are services that would help them talk about their troubles when no one seems to care. We used this opportunity to sensitize people about the real impact suicides can cause to the community if survivors don’t reach out for professional help. The event also facilitated our “Seek Help” campaign, where we urge people to seek help when they feel troubled or refer to us those they think need our help.
The event received over 200 participants and we believe over 1000 people were reached throughout this distance. The event received T.V News coverage on three locally dominant T.V stations where by our message reached out to over 40,000 people.

The center has experienced challenges but the dedication of the team’s interest to help the vulnerable groups is one development that has cemented the organization’s future in the country. This year (2014) we have received 7% increase of clients compared to 2013. This means that more people are reaching out to access help unlike the previous years where they would sit on their problems and later amount to suicide attempts.
We were so blessed that our activities led to the program’s feature in the District Newspapers, something that we are grateful for. (See attached file). Our grief counseling attracted local entities like MU-JHU (Makerere University John Hopkins University research collaboration) who saw it vital for their participants and members (especially the HIV positive people) to access our services.

Our package is effective as far as service delivery is concerned and this is why we all enjoy our volunteerism at Befrieder. The program package is as follows;
1. A Helpline (0800200450): This is a toll free crisis intervention helpline. People with trouble coping or thinking straight due to certain problems/ experiences at particular times of distress call the center to be heard or have a neutral party to talk to. This program has worked more for people from distant locations and people who wish to maintain their anonymity.

2. Grief Counseling: This is a program that helps people with a vast range traumatic experiences that push them to grieve to points of no self-rejuvenation. They talk to counselors and social workers trained to listen and offer perspective. The program has benefited many people with problems that had made them lose Hope in life.

3. Suicide ambassadorship and community out-reach program: In these out-reaches, we train people in our local communities to understand suicide clearly and de-associate it from myths and misconceptions. We train them to identify suicidal tendencies/ behavior and help in referring troubled people for professional help.

4. Psycho social support for suicide survivors program: In this program suicide survivors and well-wishers come together to wish each other comfort and also share their experiences with one another. This is intended to aware suicide survivors of the existence of other people feeling something similar to what they are feeling. The program builds confidence and energizes survivors to fight on.

5. Research and suicide studies: Befriender Uganda concentrates its endeavors to help society based on research findings. Therefore, the organization makes it a point to study more and research about new developments in the field of suicide and mental health at large.

6. Referrals: During our risk assessment we are obliged to identify symptoms that depict mental illness. Some people require medical intervention to get back on the road. We work closely with psychiatrists and mental health advocate organizations which help us with clients with special needs.

With these programs and activities Befriender Uganda is becoming influential in people’s lives. Our spirits are no-way seizing; we shall continue listening to people, we shall continue showing compassion and love to people. We shall care and many lives shall strive.
This is why we say, “Together we can save lives.”

Why wait for suicide as an option

Did you know that he/ she who took their own life simply saw that suicide was the only door available for escape?! Suicide is a complex matter to understand, it is a scary idea to venture into but for someone facing a great deal of problems, it is difficult for them that they will be leaving but it is simple; if they really want to end their suffering, Death is a solution.
Suicide is entirely dependent on the actor, if someone chooses to fight or solve his problems by taking their own life, then there is no way you can deter them. But, of course, that is something you can tell yourself to help you deal with the trauma and grief after losing someone to suicide.
A person like me believes there is always a way to save a life claimed by suicide. In actual sense most of the suicidal people I have had a chance to share with after attempting to commit, disclose that the urge they had felt before had gone away and they feel bad for having been so weak to giving in and giving up so easily. Some smile and say that now they see other options and after hospitalization they are going to deal with their problems in much better intelligent ways available.
I urge them in return, seek help or share your problems with people. If you don’t trust those close to you, talk to counselors.


Suicide is a free mad dog in Uganda; this means it is a problem so alive that urgent response is required but for some reason it is being ignored.
I perceive suicide as a free lancer night dancer. At night, people stay in doors fearing to face him, he does whatever he wants- goes wherever he wants, there is no one brave enough to stop him. Even if you hear him just outside your doorstep, you keep quiet and do nothing, in fact to use the right words- you freeze. This is not your own doing but the doing of the propaganda and rumors attached to his whole existence, it will cripple your would-be abilities to assist in the matter.
They say, when you ever meet him at night in his practices… you will feel scared to the bone; you will feel light like you have just lost your weight to diarrhea, you will feel small however big you may be, you will feel like your hair has been swept off your head by the winds that blow when he moves.
The fear instilled in you will consume you deep inside to ever want to try to do something about the problem. The effort to avoid encountering issues concerned with night dancers is the exact behavior Ugandans are extending towards suicide.
It is so unfortunate that in Uganda the government has not publicly come out to positively assist in the matter (suicide) except condemn suicidal people to jail time.
There is need for a criticism that can match the 21st century awareness and knowledge people have. The old deterring mechanisms, we should agree… no longer work.
If i faced a problem that traumatize me so deep, a problem that will bring pain to my heart to that point of thinking nothing can be done to make things better… there is no way I will consider our local mistreatment of dead bodies due to hanging. i will just go ahead and end my pain.

Lets join hands, lets offer a listening ear to our troubled fellows… in other words let us CARE. Meanwhile the Government will join.

Visit Befriender Uganda, located at SB Bossa M.H.U Complex opposite TASO Mulago, OR call: 0312 514 840, 0800 200 450 (toll free)

Together we can save life.


Out of DarknessGet yourself the “Out of Darkness” book and acquire knowledge and awareness over suicide. Add value to your knowledge capacity and help people close to you.

Remember more people in the whole world die by Suicide compared to people who are murdered.


“Out of Silence”

Come, let all of us match out of the silence we face in our everyday life as we join Befriender Uganda launching the first and only suicide program in the country.  D’day- 14.06.2014. Visit OF SILENCE poster