I have lost family and friends to undiagnosed mental ill health, I too, have battled with anxiety disorders and depression. While I want this service to have a wide reach in Kenya, so as to connect those families and individuals affected by mental ill-health, it remains a space for creating awareness and enabling Kenyans who stigmatize mental ill health, to break the stigma, so that suffers and their families, can access help without fear of oppressive consequences from the communities.
It is also a place for Kenyans to explore not only mental health disorders and illnesses but also the psychosocial situations, cultural myths and stereotypes, and discrimination, lifestyle or events that affect our mental state, with the prayer that with this awareness, we will realize that our mental health welfare is our individual as well as a community one, where we need to support and walk together, in helping healing at an individual and community level.
DEPRESSION A MAJOR CRISIS IN KENYA
Already there are too many families in Kenya suffering from mental ill-health as I speak, and this is not a result of CORVID-19. This was happening before CORVID-19.
In 2013, depression was already a crisis in Kenya. What can it possibly be like now? By 2030, depression alone is likely to be the second-highest cause of disease. Mental disorders affect men and women almost equally. However, almost all studies show a higher prevalence of depression among women than men, with a ratio of between 1.5:1 and 2:1. (Baseline study on the situation and governance of mental health and development services in Kenya).
Research by the Africa Mental Health Foundation: Suicide and Depression among adult patients admitted in general medical facilities in Kenya led by Professor of Psychiatry David M Ndetei found that on average 1 out of 10 patients had suicidal symptoms more so in younger (14.5%) than the older people (8.0%) and in the more depressed. Read the full article on http://allafrica.com/stories/201210110178.html
We have all at one time or another been marginalized, discriminated against or made to feel like you do not belong on this earth. Like other groups throughout history, people with a mental illness have experienced awful heartbreaking oppression and made to feel they don’t belong.
What gives ANYONE the right to treat others this way? Why do e tolerate it this archaic behavior in the 21st century, when people are meant to be more enlightened? We MUST NOT TOLERATE IT. Like any other physical illness, No one is immune to mental ill-health. NOT You, or I.