Mental illness: Kananu challenges depressed Kenyans to speak out

Nairobi Deputy Governor Ann Kananu on Thursday said mental illness can only be fought at an early stage if Kenyans come out to share their life challenges.

Kananu who is also the Acting Governor for Nairobi has called for stakeholder engagement to help avert the rising cases of mental illness.

Everyone has a story to share and we must come out to speak and tell it out” Kananu said.

Kananu further called for more resource allocation to matters related to mental illness.

Her sentiments were echoed by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta who appealed for a greater national focus on mental illnesses by stakeholders in the health sector.

The First Lady said mental health should be given the same priority as other medical conditions noting that, with proper attention, mental illnesses are treatable.

“It (mental sicknesses) can be treated and many people we know have recovered enough to lead healthy lives. Yet, too many individuals are being left to deal with these issues on their own, and many faces complicating life circumstances like drug and alcohol addiction, confinement or abandonment. We must do a better job. We must not accept this,” First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said.

The two advised stakeholders to aim at providing greater access to quality mental health treatment, appropriate medical and psychosocial support.

They were e Margaret speaking during celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of Chiromo Hospital Group and the official opening of Chiromo Bustani Level 5 Hospital in Nairobi. Chiromo Bustani is a new mental hospital in Nairobi County.

Cases of mental health have become a global and national concern with the rising number of cases ravaging communities and households across the country.

In Kenya,it is estimated that one out of every ten people suffers from mental Illness.

Nairobi has been identified as one of the most affected areas.

Nairobi DG promised to ensure improved investment in healthcare and with special attention to mental health.

Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi, who also spoke at the launch event, said mental illnesses were a major challenge and welcomed the private sector’s support of Government efforts to expand mental healthcare in the country.

On his part, Dr Frank Njenga, the Chairman of the Chiromo Hospital Group, who led several people to tell their success stories after receiving treatment at the facility, said the 580-bed capacity hospital handles an average of 100 cases daily.

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