Dr. Mark Mohan Kaggwa

Dr. Mark Mohan Kaggwa is a psychiatrist with experience in both clinical and research work. Major research contributions have been in forensic psychiatry, suicidology, medical education, and addiction psychiatry.  He writes and reviews articles on these topics.


Brief bio

I have a wealth of expertise and experience in research and publication in psychiatry. I am a psychiatrist who has led and participated in several research projects and trainings, covering various topics such as addiction, forensic psychiatry, student mental health, and suicidology. I have a strong track record of mentoring and guiding early career researchers, especially students, to achieve academic excellence and recognition. 

I have supervised and supported several students to publish their first peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals such as the Lancet. Five of my mentees have received prestigious awards for their scientific contributions through publications, conference presentations, and travel grants. I derive great satisfaction and motivation from seeing others succeed and grow in their research careers.

Through mentoring activities, I have also enhanced my research and publication skills, resulting in over 70 publications in the past three years. My notable publications include several Lancet Psychiatry papers, widely cited and whose findings are implemented in various settings. I have also won several awards for my writing skills, such as the best journal article from the Royal College of Psychiatry Journals in August 2023. 

Many of my articles have been featured on the cover pages of various journals, reflecting their significance and impact. I have also disseminated my research findings through conferences, seminars, and lectures, where I have been invited as a keynote speaker on three occasions.

I am passionate about solving real-world problems and improving the lives of people with mental health issues, especially those who are marginalized and vulnerable, through a team-based approach. I believe in training others to increase the field’s diversity of knowledge and perspectives. 


I have extensive experience in data analysis, research methodology, design, and implementation science, which enables me to execute and train others effectively and efficiently. I am also a motivated team leader, an innovative problem solver, and a collaborative partner. My contribution is instrumental to this project’s success and advancing knowledge in this field.


Ongoing research projects:

  •       Self-harming behaviours among forensic patients in Ontario.

This project which started in December 2022, focuses on identifying the risks associated with physical self-harming behaviors and their related correlates

Role: Principal Investigator

  •       Suicide, all-cause mortality, and self-harming behaviours among forensic patients in Ontario.

This project is based on administrative databases to determine trends of suicide and all-cause mortality among forensic patients in Ontario. The project has been running since July 2023 to date

Role: Principal Investigator.

  •       Horticulture therapy’s role in reducing aggressive incidences among forensic patients in Ontario.

 In this stepwise pragmatic cluster-randomized, we employ horticulture therapy in rehabilitating forensic patients in Ontario.

Role: Principal Investigator

  •       A preliminary study exploring the relationship between electroretinography waveforms and suicidal behaviour severity.

This project seeks to identify the waveforms that are related to suicidal behaviours among patients with depression. Recruitment for the study started in October 2023

Role: Principal Investigator


  1.   Positions, Scientific Appointments, and Honors

2023 – present American Psychiatry Association Colloquium fellow 2023, American Psychiatry Association, USA
2022 – present McMaster Forensic Psychiatry fellowship, McMasters University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience, Hamilton, Canada 
2018 – 2021 First Mile Fellowship (Masters support program), Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, USA


  1.   Contributions to Science
  2. Suicidology epidemiology

I have been involved in projects investigating the prevalence of suicidal behaviours in various parts of the world. This work has reported the burden and associated factors among the following populations: university students, individuals affected by food insecurity, and those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

1)     Kaggwa M.M, Akatussasira R, et. al. The global burden of suicidal behaviour among people experiencing food insecurity: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2023.09.012

2)     Nahrin R, Al-Mamun F, Kaggwa M.M, et al. Prevalence and factors associated with suicidal ideation among students taking university entrance tests: revisited and a study based on Geographic Information System data. BJPsych Open. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2023.526

3) Abaatyo, J., … Kaggwa, M.Ml. Suicidal behaviour among inpatients with severe mental conditions in a public mental health hospital in Uganda. BMC Psychiatry 23, 346 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-023-04858-x

4)     Kaggwa MM, Nuwamanya S, Ashaba S, Rukundo GZ, Harms S. An Adolescent’s Use of Veterinary Medicines: A Case Report Exploring Addiction. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 2021/08/08 2021;53(4):339-344. doi:10.1080/02791072.2021.1873466

5)     Kaggwa MM, Muwanguzi M, Nduhuura E, et al. Suicide among Ugandan university students: evidence from media reports for 2010–2020. BJPsych International. 2021;18(3):63-67. doi:10.1192/bji.2021.13

6)     Mamun MA, Al Mamun F, Hosen I, … Kaggwa MM, et al. Suicidality in Bangladeshi Young Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Behavioral Factors, COVID-19 Risk and Fear, and Mental Health Problems. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2021;14:4051-4061. doi:10.2147/rmhp.S330282

7)     Kaggwa MM, Arinaitwe I, Muwanguzi M, et al. Suicidal behaviours among Ugandan university students: a cross-sectional study. BMC Psychiatry. 2022/04/01 2022;22(1):234. doi:10.1186/s12888-022-03858-7

8)     Kaggwa MM, Mamun MA, Najjuka SM, et al. Gambling-related suicide in East African Community countries: evidence from press media reports. BMC Public Health. Jan 24 2022;22(1):158. doi:10.1186/s12889-021-12306-2

9)     Kaggwa MM, Rukundo GZ, Wakida EK, et al. Suicide, and Suicide Attempts Among Patients Attending Primary Health Care Facilities in Uganda: A Medical Records Review. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2022;15:703-711. doi:10.2147/rmhp.S358187

10)  Rukundo GZ, Wakida EK, Maling S, Kaggwa MM, et al. Knowledge, attitudes, and experiences in suicide assessment and management: a qualitative study among primary health care workers in southwestern Uganda. BMC Psychiatry. Sep 12 2022;22(1):605. doi:10.1186/s12888-022-04244-z

11)  Manouchehri A, Marznaki ZH, Atim LM, Mohammadian Amiri M, Kaggwa MM. The relationship between causes of suicidal attempts in Iran and individual and social variables: a retrospective study. BMC Psychiatry. Dec 12 2022;22(1):780. doi:10.1186/s12888-022-04449-2

12)  Kaggwa MM, Najjuka SM, Favina A, Griffiths MD, Mamun MA. Suicidal behaviors and associated factors among medical students in Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders Reports. 2022/12/09/ 2022:100456. doi:10.1016/j.jadr.2022.100456

13)  Al-Mamun, F., Kaggwa, M.M., Hosen, I. et al. Suicide related to the COVID-19 pandemic in India: A systematic review. Discov Psychol 3, 2 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s44202-022-00063-1


  1. University student’s mental health

Following my experience as a student and seeing many of my colleagues face vast challenges in their pursuit of knowledge. I investigated various aspects of university students’ mental health to find solutions to an ever-growing problem. I have published a few peer-reviewed articles on subjects ranging from depression, burnout, behavioural addictions, and sexual risk behaviours, among others.

1) Kaggwa MM, Devine J, and Harms S. The opioid crisis fuelled by health systems: how will future physicians fare? BJPsych International, 2023, 1-3, https://doi.org/10.1192/bji.2023.12

2) Sserunkuuma, J., Kaggwa, M. M., et al. Problematic use of the internet, smartphones, and social media among medical students and relationship with depression: An exploratory study. Plos One, 18(5), e0286424. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.22794644

3) Kajjimu J, Kaggwa MM, Bongomin F. Burnout and associated factors among medical students in a public university in Uganda: A cross-sectional study. Adv Med Educ Pract. 2021;12:63-75. doi:10.2147/amep.S287928

4) Al Mamun F, Hosen I, Misti JM, Kaggwa MM, Mamun MA. Mental Disorders of Bangladeshi Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review. Psychology research and behavior management. 2021;14:645-654. doi:10.2147/PRBM.S315961

5) Najjuka SM, Checkwech G, Olum R, Ashaba S, Kaggwa MM. Depression, anxiety, and stress among Ugandan university students during the COVID-19 lockdown: an online survey. Afr Health Sci. Dec 2021;21(4):1533-1543. doi:10.4314/ahs.v21i4.6

6) Kaggwa MM, Kajjimu J, Sserunkuma J, et al. Prevalence of burnout among university students in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2021;16(8):e0256402. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0256402

7) Kaggwa MM, Arinaitwe I, Nduhuura E, et al. Prevalence and Factors Associated With Depression and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among University Students in Uganda: A Cross-Sectional Study. Front Psychiatry. 2022;13:842466. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2022.842466

8)     Kihumuro RB, Kaggwa MM, Kintu TM, et al. Knowledge, attitude and perceptions of medical students towards mental health in a university in Uganda. BMC Med Educ. Oct 20 2022;22(1):730. doi:10.1186/s12909-022-03774-0

9) Kihumuro RB, Kaggwa MM, Nakandi RM, et al. Perspectives on mental health services for medical students at a Ugandan medical school. BMC Med Educ. Oct 25 2022;22(1):734. doi:10.1186/s12909-022-03815-8

10)  Kaggwa MM, Muwanguzi M, Najjuka SM, et al. Risky sexual behaviours among Ugandan university students: A pilot study exploring the role of adverse childhood experiences, substance use history, and family environment. PLoS One. 2022;17(11):e0277129. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0277129

11)  Muwanguzi, M., Kaggwa, MM., et al. Exploring adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among Ugandan university students: its associations with academic performance, depression, and suicidal ideations. BMC Psychology, 2023/01/13.


  1. Influence of family caregivers and peer influence on patient’s mental health

From the unique perspective of using caregivers in caring for mental health patients in Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. I embarked on understanding their roles, burdens, and significance in patients’ recovery. I continued to explore this in different populations, such as those involved in the criminal justice system. In this adventurous journey, I published a few peer-reviewed articles.

1)      Kaggwa, M.M, Olagunju, A.T, Prat, S, Harms, S, and Chaimowitz, G. Peer support mental health teams in correctional settings in Uganda. Lancet Psychiatry, January 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(22)00431-X.

2)  Kaggwa MM, Najjuka MS, Kesande C, et al. Length of stay of hospitalized patients at tertiary psychiatry facilities in Uganda: the role of caregiver’s presence. Discover Mental Health. 022/07/04 2022;2(1):15. doi:10.1007/s44192-022-00018-x

3)  Kaggwa, M.M, Najjuka SM, Mamun, MA, Griffiths, MD, Nyemara, N, and Ashaba, S. Involvement and burden of informal caregivers of patients with mental illness: the mediating role of affiliated stigma. BMC Psychiatry. January 2023. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12888-023-04553-x

4)  Nuwamanya S, Nkola R, Najjuka SM, et al. Kaggwa MM. Depression in Ugandan caregivers of cancer patients: The role of coping strategies and social support. Psychooncology. Oct 26 2022;doi:10.1002/pon.6057

5)  Najjuka SM, Iradukunda A, Kaggwa MM, et. Al., The caring experiences of family caregivers for patients with advanced cancer in Uganda: A qualitative study. Plos One, October 2023.


  1. Mental healthcare and psychiatry epidemiology in Uganda

I have also contributed to understanding Uganda’s mental healthcare system through written commentaries, perspectives, reviews, and primary research.

1)     Kaggwa MM, Harms S, Mamum M, A. Mental health in Uganda. Lancet Psychiatry; 2022. Oct;9(10):766-767. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(22)00305-4.

2)     Kaggwa MM, Najjuka SM, Bongomin F, Mamun MA, Griffiths MD. Prevalence of depression in Uganda: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2022;17(10):e0276552. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0276552

3)     Abaatyo J, Kaggwa MM, Favina A, and Olagunju AT. Readmission and associated clinical factors among individuals admitted with bipolar affective disorder at a psychiatry facility in Uganda. BMC Psychiatry, 23, 474 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-023-04960-0

4)     Abaatyo, J., Favina, A. & Kaggwa, M.M. Absconding among admitted patients with bipolar affective disorder diagnosis in Uganda. BMC Psychiatry 23, 318 (2023).

5)     Anyayo L, Ashaba S, Kaggwa MM, Maling S, Nakimuli-Mpungu E. Health-related quality of life among patients with bipolar disorder in rural southwestern Uganda: a hospital-based cross-sectional study. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. 2021/03/10 2021;19(1):84. doi:10.1186/s12955-021-01729-5

6)     Kaggwa MM, Namatanzi B, Kule M, et al. Depression in Ugandan Rural Women Involved in a Money Saving Group: The Role of Spouse’s Unemployment, Extramarital Relationship, and Substance Use. Int J Womens Health. 2021;13:869-878. doi:10.2147/ijwh.S323636

7)     Kaggwa MM, Acai A, Rukundo GZ, Harms S, Ashaba S. Patients’ perspectives on the experience of absconding from a psychiatric hospital: a qualitative study. BMC Psychiatry. 2021/07/26 2021;21(1):371. doi:10.1186/s12888-021-03382-0

8)     Kaggwa MM, Najjuka SM, Harms S, Ashaba S. Mortality Among Patients Admitted in a Psychiatric Facility: A Single-Centre Review. Clinical Audit. 2021 2021-06-17 2021;13:21-28. doi:10.2147/CA.S308757

9) Kaggwa MM, Nkola R, Najjuka SM, Bongomin F, Ashaba S, Mamun MA. Extrapyramidal Side Effects in a Patient with Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms: A Reflection of Quality of the Mental Health Care System. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2021;14:2789-2795. doi:10.2147/rmhp.S314451

You can view some of my scholastic work from the following 

eRA COMMONS: ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4733-154X

Scopus Author ID: https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=57221518864

Researchgate ID: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mark-Kaggwa

Loop profile: https://loop.frontiersin.org/people/926359/overview

Semantic Scholar Link: https://www.semanticscholar.org/author/Mark-Mohan-Kaggwa/2046806840


Google scholar:  https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=pPNqr_AAAAAJ&hl=en 


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