LEADER

EDITORIAL: Mental health needs more attention

It is good the police service in conjunction with the Task Force on Mental Health is addressing the matter

In Summary

• Depression and anxiety disorders top the list of mental illnesses diagnosed in Kenya, followed by substance use disorders.

• Alcohol contributes to the largest burden of substance use related illnesses in the country and is most prevalent in the 18-29-year-old age group.

Mental health
Mental health
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The revelation by the National Police Service Commission that more than 12,000 police officers suffer from mental health illness is disturbing.

This figure is conservative and a thorough assessment could paint a gloomier picture.

It is good that the National Police Service in conjunction with the Task Force on Mental Health is addressing the matter.

The problem is, however, not restricted to the police service. It is only that among police officers, it manifests itself through the use of the gun to take their lives or kill fellow officers or innocent civilians.

It is estimated that one out of 10 people in Kenya suffer from a mental disorder. The number, however,  increases to one in every four people attending routine outpatient services.

Depression and anxiety disorders top the list of mental illnesses diagnosed in Kenya, followed by substance use disorders.

Alcohol contributes to the largest burden of substance use related illnesses in the country and is most prevalent in the 18-29-year-old age group.

The Mental Health Task Force recommended that the illness be declared a national emergency and be prioritised as a public health and socioeconomic agenda.

The stigma still attached to mental health should be dealt with to allow people come out openly and seek help.