By Mourice Seretta
The Chiromo Mental Health Hospital (CMHH) in partnership with key stakeholders in the healthcare sector launched an Academy for Mental Health practice in a move that is aimed at capacity building for mental health practitioners.
The Academy seeks to train and equip healthcare practitioners with knowledge, skills and attitude that will enable them be effective in their clinical practice.
Speaking during the launch of the academy, AMREF International University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Marion Mutugi emphasized on the timeliness of this programme for healthcare practitioners in Mental Health.
“We are pleased with this partnership with Chiromo Mental Health Hospital to provide an Advanced Diploma in Applied Mental Health Practice at the Academy of Mental Health Practice. This programme will help equip the practitioners with practical skills required to be more effective when seeing the patients, a move that will help aid with the prevention and advocacy for mental health and by extension, help eradicate the stigma surrounding it”, said Prof. Mutugi.
The criteria for accreditation by the academy will be dependent on peer affirmation to ensure that the standards of quality is maintained.
“For a long time, a gap has existed among trainees post their tertiary education, leaving them unable to effectively handle patients. It is for that reason that Chiromo Mental Health Hospital alongside partners like AMREF International University decided to start the Academy for Mental Health Practice to bridge the already existing gap and help bring a difference to the practice”, said Dr Njenga, Chairman- Chiromo Mental Health Hospital.
A recent survey by the World Health The organization revealed that the COVID 19 pandemic disrupted or completely halted critical mental health services, an area that is already underfunded with governments spending less than 2 per cent of their national health budgets on mental health.
The Chief guest at the launch, Mr. Mohammed Nyaoga- Chairman, Central Bank of Kenya lauded the moved by Chiromo Mental Health Hospital to launch the academy.
“I am pleased with the move by Chiromo Mental Health Hospital and Amref International University to launch the Academy, to ensure that mental health is given a holistic approach starting at the community level”, said Mr Nyaoga.
“For the Academy of Mental Health to be successful, we must ensure that our aim is to inspire, influence and impact the community around us. Most importantly we must conduct regular audits to ensure that the standards are being maintained”, he added.
The Academy for Mental Health Practice (AMHP) purposes to establish a robust community of practice in mental health care, recognize and uphold high-quality standard of mental health care practitioners and domestic socio-culturally responsive mental practices, reduce stigma on mental illness by increasing awareness and utilization of services, coordinating lobbying and advocacy in mental health, and finally, provide continued professional education in mental health care.
The future of mental health awareness lies in our ability to be courageous, share our stories and relay accurate information.
Through digital platforms we can reach as many people as possible, right from the comfort of their home. I challenge you today to be a mental health champion in every space that you occupy as we journey towards breaking the stigma, and normalizing the conversation on mental health .- Gathoni Mbugua – Chiromo Mental health hospital.
The Academy for Mental Health Practice will be a partnership run by Chiromo Mental Health Hospital and the Amref International University who will provide Advanced Diploma in Applied Mental Health. The course is set to take one year and the first cohort is set to kick off in January 2021.