Travel Award Spotlight: Maria Kroupina to advance childhood mental health
In 2016, Maria Kroupina, Associate Professor in the Division of Global Pediatrics, was awarded an AHC Travel Award for travel to Uganda to meet with researchers and clinicians to identify potential collaborations to advance early childhood mental health in Uganda. One resulting collaboration was a symposium held on September 25, 2017 in Kampala in partnership with the AHC Uganda Hub and faculty from Makerere University's Department of Psychiatry. The symposium was attended by Makerere University faculty, clinicians, students, and researchers who are active in the field of pediatric mental health. Featured speakers included:
- "Rewarding steps in the development of Multi-disciplinary teams and services for child and adolescent mental Health in Uganda" by Dr. Godfrey Zari Rukundo, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Dr. Joyce Nalugya, Makerere University and Dr. Alyson Hall, East-London-Butabika Link.
- "Autism Spectrum Disorders: is early identification and intervention possible in low income countries (LIC)?" by Dr. Cathy Abbo, Makerere University.
Dr. Kroupina also presented on her work, "Toxic Stress and Early Mental Health," and facilitated a roundtable on future research collaborations with Dr. Paul Bangirana, Department of Psychiatry. The symposium was a first step for UMN and Makerere University faculty to plan joint research and training activities that aim to improve early childhood mental health and brain development through interventions with children and families.