HEALTHCARE

EDITORIAL: MoH needs to drive efforts to tame mental health crisis

Mental health has attracted even more urgent attention globally on account of Covid-19

In Summary

• The time for action is now: Create awareness, invest in mental hospitals and provide access to mental healthcare and deal with stigma.

• A majority of those affected suffer in silence because they are scared stiff of the discrimination attached to mental illness.

Suicide cases are on the rise by the day for the past two years, a cause of concern about the mental health of a nation.

Mental health has attracted even more urgent attention globally on account of Covid-19, which ruined the economies of virtually every country.

Even when a report by Ministry of Health showed one in every 10 Kenyans suffers from mental disorder, the government is yet to roll out measures to roll back the trend.

The time for action is now: Create awareness, invest in mental hospitals and provide access to mental healthcare and deal with stigma.

A majority of those affected suffer in silence because they are scared stiff of the discrimination attached to mental illness.

Families are grappling with the shame of telling the public their loved ones are facing serious mental challenges. The ministry can help through counselling and providing drugs.

It is this kind of scenario, coupled with stresses brought about by financial challenges as a result of job losses, that leads those suffering to give up and resort to suicide.

It is high time mental wellness is taken seriously from the highest levels.

Mental healthcare must be available, affordable and accessible to all.

It is also important to break the stigma through media-driven civic education, which will have positive impact on treatment seeking behaviour.

Employers, too, need to pay close attention to mental wellness of their employees by creating a working environment that does not stress workers.

It is prudent to provide counseling sessions for employees and encourage team building activities for employees cool off at regular intervals.

Each must contribute in their own small way in making Kenya a sane society.