- Mucheru says programmes have been tailored to meet their needs to enable them develop economically
- CS also reiterated the need to adopt a multi-sectoral approach to address the rising cases of mental health disorders and promote mental wellbeing
Youths have been encouraged to take advantage of available government opportunities to better their lives.
ICT CS Joe Mucheru said programmes such Ajira Digital Programme, Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities Project and affirmative action funds such as the Youth Enterprise Development Fund have been tailored to meet their needs to enable them to develop economically and achieve financial freedom.
In a speech read on his behalf by CAS Nadia Abdala, the CS reiterated the need to adopt a multi-sectoral approach to address the rising cases of mental health disorders and promote mental wellbeing.
The CAS spoke during the official launch of the mental health wellness week for the youth in Nairobi on Monday.
“A well-articulated and coordinated response to the challenge posed by mental disorders, if well implemented, will lead to the achievement of improved mental health and wellbeing for the youth of Kenya,” Mucheru said.
“Young people are at a very unique and formative phase in their lives. They are curious, zealous, impatient for change, ambitious, restless and innovative, just but to name a few characteristics. Multiple physical, emotional and social changes, can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health problems,” he added.
The prevalence rate of common mental illness in the country stands at 10.3 per cent with lifetime prevalence rate of suicidal thoughts of 7.9 per cent and 1.9 per cent lifetime prevalence rates of suicidal attempts.
Research shows that mental health disorders are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide and could cost the global economy $16 trillion by 2030.
Today, an estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression alone, while suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people.
The National Youth Council (NYC) in partnership with UNODC, UNICEF, Safaricom, Centum Investments, East African Breweries Limited, Spread Truth Africa, Compassion International, among other partners, NYC will be holding a Mental Health Wellness Week from February 22 to 26 at Two Rivers Mall.
The aim is to build mental health resilience among the youth through Sports and Culture, to generate realistic and impactful solutions to the diverse socio-economic challenges facing the youth.
They include unemployment anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, anger, depression, financial stress, Gender Based Violence, self-harm, among others.
“We recognise that everyone is facing additional challenges dealing with Covid-19. There's no population that is immune to this. That is why we are creating awareness of mental health in the country. People are crying out for help navigating the uncharted waters of life in a pandemic especially those gripped by anxiety and depression. Now more than ever, we need to come together to raise awareness and let people know they are not alone” NYC chief executive Roy Sasaka said.
“Young people often underestimate the need for outside help and attempt to deal with their problems on their own. Therefore, young people must be empowered through the provision of information on mental health problems and opportunities for support and treatment,” Abdala said.
-Edited by Sarah Kanyara