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About Us

The Mental health Leadership and Advocacy Project (mhLAP) was conceived by Prof. Oye Gureje of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Ibadan and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health Neurosciences and Substance Abuse, Ibadan and the CBM after a series of papers published by the Lancet medical journal in 2007 established psychosocial disabilities as a priority in addressing unmet health needs globally. The papers, while calling for a significant scale-up service for people with mental disorders, especially in low income countries, also identified some barriers that have made previous efforts falter. These include poor public health skills among leaders in mental health in low income countries who were unable to sustain strong advocacy for programme development at the national level.
The mhLAP was established to address the poor public health skills among mental health leaders in the English speaking West Africa countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia. The project has an initial life span of five years and is a partnership between University of Ibadan and Australian Aid, through a grant managed by CBM Australia on behalf of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The mhLAP has its co-coordinating office at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Ibadan.  The project main activities include:

  • Capacity building for mental health leaders from the participating countries and other interested persons through the annual 2 week Mental health Leadership and Advocacy Training and 3 Days Advocacy workshop that holds in Ibadan. The training course is based on current best evidence in the field of public health and is designed for the African context.


  • Promoting mental health advocacy effort through the formation of mental health stakeholder’s forum in all the participating countries. The forum’s activities are to be facilitated by the country facilitators that have been appointed for all the participating countries.


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Comments on our Training

I have been an advocate for 3 years now but I have never been so equipped like I did with this training and it will go to show even in my work as a radio presenter, even in areas that are not Mental Health related.

Lamin K. Sanyang, The Gambia

“The training has made me a better presenter and producer. I have written down topics that could be discussed on my programme. I also plan to reach out to the president’s wife NGO on the issue of mental health through the advocacy skills I have learnt from the training and then produce jingles in between programmes on mental health

Fatima Hassan, Markudi, Nigeria


“I am grateful for this opportunity to come to Nigeria and be part of this training, I feel greatly empowered”

Boniface Chitayi, Kenya


“I have attended lots of training but this mhLAP training has more positive impact on me than all other trainings I have attended. I have learnt the skills I need to advocate for mental health issues. I plan to factor in mental health into the district work plan in Sierra Leone

Hannah Bockarie, Sierra Leone


“The course was a great awakening. I feel a great burden in my heart because I now realize that there is much work to be done. I plan to adopt two PHCs in Osun state and offer free psychiatrist ser

Opakunle Tolulope, Osun, Nigeria


‘It was a nice multicultural experience from different African countries and a means of networking. Thank you very much’

Roseline –A – Okoth, University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences, Kenya



‘The course was very interesting, informative, educative and very interactive. The application of group work after every lecture also facilitates practical applicability of all the lectures. I have learnt various multidimensional means of promoting, preventing and carrying out advocacy for many areas of mental health disorders. I congratulate the organizers for a great work’

Dr. A.O Coker

‘Exposure to mental health care perspectives from various countries has given me a well rounded perspective of mental health care in Africa’


Aneshrey Moodley,  Consultant psychiatrist, South Africa

‘I had a good experience both with the facilitators and co-participants. This is more in terms of the multidisciplinary approach to mental health issues. There was clear absence of over simplified assumptions for professional convenience (psychiatrists).’


Akpoju Ogbole Samuel, Programme Officer, Nigeria

‘Learning took place formally during the session and during the group work. Significant learning also took place during informal interaction out of session learning about the experiences in different country. I feel better equipped to function in the stakeholder council and also in my work as head of a faith based health need’


Walter Carew, Executive Director, (CHASL) Sierra Leone

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