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My name is Adrian Ivan Kakinda, and I hail from Masaka City, located in the southern region of Uganda, East Africa. Currently, I am pursuing my PhD at the University of Dundee, United Kingdom, within the Psychology division, a journey that commenced in September 2023. With a focus on mental health help-seeking behaviours among adolescents, my research endeavours seek to address crucial gaps in understanding and supporting the mental well-being of young people.

In 2022, I completed my master’s degree in counselling psychology at Kyambogo University, Uganda, following a bachelor's degree in Guidance and Counselling, where I graduated with first-class honours. My academic journey continued as I transitioned into a Graduate Fellow role at Kyambogo University immediately after my undergraduate studies. Subsequently, I serve as an Assistant Lecturer, a role that deepened my passion for mental health advocacy and research.

Over the past eight years, my professional journey has revolved around counselling and mental health initiatives, focusing on areas such as depression, mental health literacy, stigma, resilience, and interventions. As a member of the Uganda counselling Association Board, I have spearheaded numerous awareness campaigns, symposia, and media engagements to promote mental health awareness and support.
At Kyambogo University, I actively contributed to student mental health research, counselling programs, and curriculum development, recognizing the critical need for mental health research and intervention strategies. This experience fuelled my aspiration for further education and led me to pursue doctoral studies through the Africa Doctoral Fellowship program at the University of Dundee.

The fellowship scheme offered by the University of Dundee presents a unique opportunity to address the significant mental health care gaps in Africa, with a particular focus on Uganda. Leveraging my collaboration with Prof. Kennedy Amone-P'Olak of Kyambogo University and Prof. Croudace of the University of Dundee, I am equipped with a supportive supervision team and a robust network to drive impactful research outcomes.

Together, we aspire to establish Kyambogo University as a center of excellence for mental health research and teaching, fostering sustainable partnerships and advancing mental health care in Uganda and beyond. Through my diverse roles as a researcher, public speaker, and counsellor, I am committed to contributing meaningfully to the well-being of individuals and communities affected by mental health challenges.


Research area

Mental Health formal and informal Help seeking behaviours among adolescents

About my research

Our research project delves into the nuanced dynamics of formal and informal mental health help-seeking behaviours among adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa. With a keen focus on mental health literacy and perceived stigma, we aim to unravel the intricacies that influence adolescents' choices in seeking support for their mental well-being. Motivated by the pressing need for more comprehensive mental health research in Africa, our study addresses the significant gaps in understanding and addressing mental health challenges faced by adolescents in the region. Despite the growing recognition of mental health issues globally, Sub-Saharan Africa continues to lag behind in research and resources, exacerbating the vulnerabilities of its adolescent population. Through our research, we strive to shed light on these critical issues, advocate for increased mental health awareness and resources, and ultimately empower adolescents to access the support they need for their mental well-being. Join us as we embark on this journey to promote mental health equity and resilience among adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Amone-P'Olak, K., Kakinda, A.I., & Kibedi, H. Omech, B. (2023). Drug and
substance use under a restrictive and prohibitive policy regime in secondary schools in
Uganda:the convergence of motives, contexts and student characteristics. African
Journalof Drug & Alcohol Studies. In press.

Amone-P’Olak, K., Kakinda, A.I., Kibedi, H., & Omech, B. (2023). Barriers to
treatment andcare for depression among the youth in Uganda: The role of mental
health literacy. Frontiers in Public Health 11:1054918. doi:

Amone-P'Olak, K., Omech, B., Kakinda, A.I., & Kibedi, H. (2022). Echoes of the
past: prevalence and correlates of PTSD among formerly abducted youths in northern
Uganda: findings from the WAYS study. General Psychiatry; 35(5): e100840.
https://doi.org/10.1136/ gpsych-2022-100840