In 2020 mental health task force recommend to President Uhuru
Kenyatta to declare mental health a national emergency of epidemic proportions
following the difficult times caused by the pandemic.
The change in the way of life has been disrupted from
economic to social status.
The cases of mental health in the country have risen, with
mental health practitioners pointing out that a majority of mentally ill
persons have not accepted that they are suffering from mental health-related
According to the mental health task force, 1 out of every 10
suffers from a mental health-related case. With depression and anxiety being
the lead diagnosed mental illnesses in the country.
Early this year, the results of mental health have flooded
the media. Children killing parents, parents killing children, spouses killing
each other and increased cases of suicide. Nothing painted a picture of looking
for the solution.
Noticeable was accumulated anger and lack of communication
leading to evil and misguided decisions.
Several hashtags and campaigns have been carried in the
creation of mental health awareness on various social media platforms such as
on Twitter the #speakout, #mindmatters #mentalhealthadvocate across the world.
In Kenya, such hashtags include #MentalHealth254 by the Kenya Psychiatric
Association KPA last year during the mental health awareness week in May. With
the current being #dance4MentalWellness initiated by the National Youth Council
Kenya on the international dance day.
The noticeable changes in a person reflecting mental disorder
according to the Mental Health Taskforce include long-lasting sadness or
irritability; extremely high and low moods, excessive fear worry or anxiety,
social withdrawal, and dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits are among
the common and detected signs for a person suffering from mental illness.
Medical aspects and remedy frequently highlighted. But what’s
the missing link in the course of mental health in the country? Medics across
the country have offered a solution, therapies among being sensitive to the
emotions of others. Seldom has the spiritual aspect been shunned among the
institution to help fight mental awareness.
In March this year, the NCCK committee issued a press release
and urged the ministries of health of both county and national governments to
organize sustainable training to empower the people to withstand the pressures
The council continued to say that there is also a need to
improve the accessibility of mental health in the country and that as churches
they will encourage people to end the stigma on mental health and seek to help
whenever one is affected.
The church has been sidelined in the fight against mental
health in the country. As an institution of social change little wait is taken into
its ability to reduce the increased cases of mental illnesses. The common
phrase with little attention given in to it “man without God is nothing but
God without a man is still God” has been taken casually
according to many Christians as a normal phrase. A strong belief that the
church Julie Wangui a degree holder of Actuarial Science, a Christian writer
and founder of Millennial Christians argues that forums and open conversation
if confronted by the church will foster the fight in mental health issues as
much as educating the church that they are not exempted from mental health
illness at some course of their life.
She encourages society to embrace the place of the church in
”The church needs to start having open conversations on
mental health; whether it is anxiety or depression, suicide matters, or the
less talked about issues like bipolar disorder. May at some course, create
forums to educate the congregation on the various mental health issues,” she
Catherine Wairimu a Chemical Engineer by profession and an
enthusiast of matters youth and salvation and matters mental health stating
that less information about mental health issues by the church due to ignorance
and misinformation “we are safe as Christians from mental health”
has made the participation of the church very left out and
the case of mental health viewed as a medical problem has made the inclusion of
the church reluctant in the country against the fifth of mental-related
“There is not much understanding in the church concerning
mental health field due to ignorance and misinformation making participation of
the church harder. She said. ‘The church is given less attention and their
opinion less factored in the fight since mental health in Kenya is majorly
considered a medical problem and not a possibility of the spiritual aspect,”
she further added.
With mental health week awareness set to begin later this
month of May from 10th -16th week, they hope the society will incorporate the
opinion of the church against the fight and creating awareness as matters
spiritual enlightens ones and encourages the right path to be taken and
avoiding the pressures of life.
“We are not less of Christians, if you are struggling with
anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue you can invite Jesus into
your situation, proclaim God’s Word over your life as you seek professional
help too,” added Julie Wangui.