Knowledge Translation of “Mental Health” issues in Butare, Rwanda

Wesley Oakes, one of the editors of this KM blog, was in Rwanda in mid January to conduct a qualitative research workshop that is intended to help prepare third year social work students at the National University of Rwanda in Butare to conduct a research project on Mental Health issues in their community (ies). This workshop was complementary to the instruction in research methods that the students have already been undergoing as part of their degree program. The main on the ground research component of this project will be conducted by the students early this year.

A key part of this workshop was to engage in the brainstorming and translation of what Mental Health constitutes in many communities in Rwanda, and to discern how community workers can best be equipped to provide mental health services where needed.

Engaging in this process also entailed immediate recognition and honoring of the situated nature of Mental Health, as well as the importance of having the adequate “language” skills and context information when conducting any research. This was a knowledge translation and re-translation exercise indeed! Below are some pictures from the workshop.



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