Mental health is directly linked to a person’s overall wellbeing. According to WHO, Mental health encompasses emotional, psychological and social wellness. It reports that one person dies every 40 secs from suicide. This number is likely to increase due to effects of COVID-19 as evidenced by a sharp rise in people with Mental Health Anxiety (MHA) by more than 70% from January to April.
Are you at risk? Here is a free mental wellness self-assessment tool
Mental health conditions or disability is a continuum. There is no zero on this scale, that means we all have a mental challenge at every stage in our lives. AICS Uganda has developed a tool that you can use to conduct self-assessment. You can also read tips on what to do to mitigate the severity of mental health conditions or disability.
Are you at risk? take a self assessment Anxiety Test.
Here is a link to a mental health service provider near you service providers map.
Mental health is described as a state of an individual functioning to his/her satisfactory level of emotional or behavioral adjustments. Human are known to be social animals and their interaction helps in improving their mental health.
Based on Kenya government’s Statistical Abstract of year 2017, approximately 100,000 Kenyan’s sought the outpatient hospital care for mental disorders in 2016. This was an increase of 8% compared to the number of visiting outpatient clinics in 2015. Nairobi County had the highest proportion of 15% of these total visits followed by Muranga at about 6%, Nyeri 5%, Kiambu at 4% and Mombasa at 4%. The Kenya Mental Health Policy of 2015-2030 also estimated that 40% of total inpatient in health facilities suffer mental health. An audit of the mental health system by Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) reported that 83% of people with mental health conditions do not receive any treatment hence resulting in institutionalization through the criminal justice system. This is against a growing realization that mental health conditions is growing challenge across the globe, with WHO estimating that conditions such as depression now affect more than 300million people worldwide and leading cause of disability. Suicide is now a leading cause of death among youth aged 15-29years across the globe.
These challenges are a sharp contrast to the capacity of the both health care and justice system to meet needs of persons with mental disabilities, and worse in the case of those serving both custodial and non-custodial sentences. Kenya’s median mental health workforce to population ratio is 1.7 mental health staff per 100 000 compared to WHO’s recommended 10.7 per 100,000. Mental healthcare has received little attention in Kenyan health reform and it remains a low policy and budget priority.
Based on this statistics AICS partnered with Kamili Organization and Kenya Association for the Intellectually Handicapped formed a consortium to respond to these need by providing a human rights based focus for legal reform, a more sustainable preventive and restorative service delivery dubbed Model HRB Community Level Intervention for PWMD in Justice and Health Sectors with three objectives of;
- Advocate for public financing of effective community based mental health services for PWMD
- Pilot community-based rehabilitation and reintegration services in access to justice for PWMD
- Strengthen coordination and capacity for advocacy among agencies providing services to PWMD in health and justice sectors in Kenya
The project is being implemented in Kajiado, Meru and Nairobi counties with hope for replication in the entire country and Beyond.
Drug abuse is often linked to mental health challenges. This is why a worldwide problem with an approximation of 247 million drug users. Drugs are known to have wide effects whether short term or long term. The effects could affect the users directly or spill over to those around them. In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of substance abuse present unique challenges to users due to the disconnection from social life and access to care & support.
Wondering what you need to know about substance use and COVID?
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