The past 30 years have seen an unprecedented rise in attention towards the mental health of conflict-affected populations. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the burden of mental disorder among conflict-affected individuals may be as high as 22% and to be particularly prevalent among refugees and forced migrants. This is certainly the case in Uganda, where the mental health needs of the large number of displaced people have been described as dire and largely unmet, despite MHPSS interventions being a common part of the humanitarian response.

This short article reports a study that considered the effects of the psychological intervention of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy among women in the Palabek refugee camp in Northern Uganda. While the combination of therapy and livelihood creation may appear to be beneficial for refugees’ mental health more broadly, the reality in Uganda has been rather different.