All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.
Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes
University of Rwanda
- Programme Website: https://ur.ac.rw/?Undergraduate-245 / https://ur.ac.rw/?Postgraduate
- Programme Name: College of Arts and Social Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Programme Types: (Undergraduate Programme: Social Work and Clinical Psychology), Master of Science in Clinical Psychology and Therapeutics, Postgraduate Diploma in School Guidance and Counselling
University of Lay Adventists of Kigali
- University Website: http://www.unilak.ac.rw
- Programme Website: http://www.unilak.ac.rw/undergraduate-programs/faculty-of-environmental-studies/
- Note*: No psychology course offered but one module called introduction to counselling is offered
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres
Background & Context
There are varieties of established counselling agencies and NGOs that are available at the capital city of Rwanda but limited literature on the counselling professional in this country.
However, a brief history on how mental health care services were available during the 1994 right after the genocide war, the Rwanda Ministry of Health has established a Psychosocial Service Centre in the capital city of Kigali to assist people who are experiencing psychological problems. It was designated as the national referral centre for outpatient services and the Ndera Psychiatric Hospital was designated as the national referral centre for in-patient hospitalization. This service provided to understand the current community’s mental health that occurred in 1994 surrounding to the genocide which caused a history of ethnic tensions, combined with colonial influences, that has contributed to the trauma of those who experienced the genocide (Levers, Kamanzi, Mukamana, Pells, & Bhusumane, 2006).
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
There are few professional societies in the field: The Rwanda Psychological Society (RPS) and the Rwandan Association of Trauma counsellors (ARCT-Ruhuka). These are the only professional associations engaged in training and capacity building of PTSD professionals with a structured curriculum. The extension of supervision networks for community health workers is also important to strengthen trauma services and build up basic competences (Joseph, Schäfer Ingo, Klaus, Leon , & Vincent, 2019).
Consequently in the year of 1999 clinical psychology department from the University of Rwanda was created to train mental health professionals and equip them with the ability to handle traumatic cases. A current figures shows that Rwanda had a significant amount of progress from 0 psychiatrist and 295 psychiatric nurses in 1994 to 12 psychiatrist to 381 psychiatric nurses. The number of clinical psychologist increased from no clinical psychologist to 599 trained clinical psychologist (Mukamana et al., 2019). The rise in the number of mental health professionals is a combined work of different training institutions of University of Rwanda and University of Kibungo and as well as recognition of other international universities.
Counselling services are available in settings through NGOs and private psychological centres.
Challenges & Trends
In the institutional level there are still huge gaps in the overall mechanisms established to support trauma clients and there is a limited infrastructure for such services. Additionally, there is a need to strengthen mental health policy through its inclusion in other general health policies (Joseph, Schäfer Ingo, Klaus, Leon , & Vincent, 2019).
Additional Information & References
For a deeper exploration of the counselling profession in the country, interested readers are recommended to read the following journal articles:
Joseph, K., Schäfer Ingo, S., Klaus, P., Leon, M., & Vincent, S. (2019). Fostering the training of professionals to treat trauma and PTSD in Rwanda: A call for structured training curriculum. Public Health Bul., 1(2), 21-23. doi:http://www.bioline.org.br/pdf?rp19014
Levers, L. L., Kamanzi, D., Mukamana, D., Pells, K., & Bhusumane, D. (2006). Addressing Urgent Community Mental Health Needs in Rwanda: Culturally Sensitive Training Interventions. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 16(2), 261-272. doi:10.1080/14330237.2006.10820130
Mukamana, D., Levers, L. L., Johns, K., Gishoma, D., Kayiteshonga, Y., & Mohand, A.
A. (2019). A Community-Based Mental Health Intervention: Promoting Mental Health Services in Rwanda. Innovations in Global Mental Health, 1-17. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-70134-9_36-1
Republic of Rwanda; Ministry of Health, Rwanda Mental Health Policy, Kigali: Ministry of Health, 2011.