Will Mental Health Ever Be Taken Serious In Kenya?

Photo from Citizen Tv

I recently saw this and my heart sunk. I felt for that poor baby, the family and more so, the mom. No mom, in their right mind would do such a heinous thing to their own flesh and blood.

I keep saying, mental health conditions are real. But the society we live in has a long way to go. The stigmatization, the lack of information and just plain old ignorance is too much. Until you or a loved one go through it, most people just assume ni kurogwa or attention seeking.

I was judged when I was battling depression. So I know the feeling. I was told to pray about it. I was told to get over it. I even remember a family member suggested that I was pretending and that magonjwa zangu zimekua too much.

Not until I got so deep into my depressive state and required medication did most of them take it seriously. Then the pity calls and messages which were mostly for mushene started.

What I’m I saying? That mental health is real. Diseases don’t only happen from the neck down. The brain is also a part of the body. It gets affected too. And people tend to criticize what they don’t know.

I strongly urge you today to do a simple Google search and learn all you need to know about mental health. And remember change starts with you. Advocacy starts with you. And any one of us can get affected.

The mom, in this case, beheaded her child because the baby refused to breastfeed. The mom is said to have a mental condition. Maybe, just maybe, she does not have access to proper care or even medication to help out with her condition.

What measures do we as a country have in place to cater for the needs of people suffering from mental health conditions? Do we have enough counselors, therapists, psychiatrists and are they affordable? Do our hospitals have psychiatric wings? Can patients with severe conditions access or afford medication? Can they go about their normal lives without being judged, hated on, ridiculed and shunned? We don’t do it to people with HIV, Cancer or other life threatening diseases. Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Lets purpose to be and do better! Ama we focus on BBI and wheelbarrows and firirinda and leave the rest to chance?

Think about it!

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