IAC Member Associations & Organizations
Interested in your association becoming an IAC member? Find more information here.
Universities & Training Institutes
IAC Education Institute Members
Interested in your education institute becoming an IAC member? Find more information here.
Additional Education Institutes
Hope Africa University
- Programme Types: Bachelor of Social and Clinical Psychology, Bachelor of Social Work and Community Development
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices & Centres
IAC Member Centres/Group Practices
Interested in your centre/group practice becoming an IAC member? Find more information here.
Additional Centres/Group Practices
Currently there is no private counselling practises available at Burundi’s capital and no information is officially placed on the websites. Main counselling practises are only practised through NGOs.
Background & Context
In this context of poverty, there is a huge lack of basic needs, damaged social fabric and neglect of mental health issues. The international non-governmental organisation (NGO) TPO (Trans- cultural Psychosocial Organisation, after 2005: HealthNet TPO) successfully applied in 2000 for funds from The Netherlands government to begin a programme which would provide psychosocial and mental health services to this war related population, while new clinics and hospitals are being built and staffed, these offer only primary health services and mental healthcare is still largely neglected despite the widespread need for it, especially during the post-war. In 2000, Burundi had one psychiatrist (trained abroad) and no psychiatric nurses or psychiatric social workers. The country had (and still has) only one psychiatric hospital, with around 60 beds and with no psychiatrist. The Faculty of Education at the University of Burundi started to train clinical psychologists in the late 1990s, but at the time there were no organisations in which these workers could be employed.
There are very limited human resources with almost no ongoing training or retraining (World Health Organization, 2008). There has been very little mental health research (Sharan et al., 2009), although a regional conference of health ministers noted the importance of moving the development of psychosocial interventions onto “the central stage of evidence based science” (Baingana & Ventevogel, 2008, p. 172).
Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition
Currently there are two main NGOs that are providing mental healthcare facilities that come along with various psychosocial activities. It has been acquiring a number of projects and programs aiming for the rehabilitation of marginalized groups such as war and HIV/AIDS orphans, child soldiers, victims of sexual violence, internally displaced people, refugees and other vulnerable populations. Staff of various international, local NGOs and Burundian governments have been trained in different aspects of psychosocial assistance and mental health care. The programming strongly promotes mainstreaming of psychosocial and mental health wellbeing with regards to development and peace consolidation.
It is run by the non-profit organization and their mission is to contribute to and help improve the mental wellbeing of people and communities in Burundi. To facilitate rapid and easy access to psychosocial assistance and support for refugees, internally displaced people and victims of disasters in affected communities and areas.
Challenges & Trends
People in Burundi tend to associate epilepsy and severe mental disorders with supernatural causes and often seek help outside the health care sector (Nsengiyumva et al., 2006). There is also scant research on local beliefs about the kinds of behaviors, feelings, and cognitions that define mental illnesses, or beliefs about their causes and treatments (Summerfield, 2008).
Additional Information & References
For a deeper exploration of the counselling profession in the country, interested readers are recommended to read the following journal articles:
- Irankunda, P., Heatherington, L., & Fitts, J. (2017). Local terms and understandings of mental health problems in Burundi. Transcultural Psychiatry, 54(1), 66-85. doi:10.1177/1363461516689004
- Sharan, P., Gallo, C., Gureje, O., Lamberte, E., Mari, J. J., Mazzotti, G., . . . Saxena, S. (2009). Mental health research priorities in low- and middle-income countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. British Journal of Psychiatry, 195(4), 354-363. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.108.050187
- Summerfield, D. (2008). How scientifically valid is the knowledge base of global mental health? British Medical Journal, 336, 992–994. doi:10.1136/bmj.39513.441030.AD.