Mental health is an emerging enormous challenge in Kenya.
It is disturbing news that less than one percent of the country’s budget is set aside to mitigate the rising cases associated with this condition.
From depression to suicide cases, to family breakups, there is little to celebrate about on matters countering the mental challenges that people are going through.
No single group of people has been left behind. Talk of the disciplined forces, the uneducated, the jobless and even the married and any other person in society whom life has challenged, or people around him or her have ignited external pressure to.
Sometimes mental ill health is associated with the not so well off in society but this stereotype is losing reference fast with the many suicide cases and family break-ups that are recorded affect the well off and the employed.
From life expectations to pressure to provide for family and the need to maintain external pressure, no day mental health issues will fade away. The individual will succumb.
Organizations should set time aside, say one afternoon every week for staff to socially engage, do sports and interact without the seriousness that office attracts.
Members can disengage the pressure associated with work and share their life stories. And they will be healed.
Worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health cases have risen tremendously in the last two years. This is clear indication that Kenyans are feeling the burden of the pandemic. It is hitting them hard leading to the rise in mental health cases.
With suicide cases on the rise, there is every reason for society to start meaningful conversation about the need to combat society’s concerns and find solutions to people’s problems.
It may not be solving them wholesome but looking for manageable steps to counter the bits in individuals that concern them and how they can be sorted.
To counter the challenges associated with mental health, there must be adequate investment of resources to this kitty so that the team is able to put up a marshal plan across the country, from one level of to another so that this challenge is contained.
County governments must start allocating more money and employing enough staff to the health docket more specifically those dealing with mental challenges so that these cases are mapped out and solved.
Further down, there is need for household mapping so that each home is monitored across various spheres that affect them so that their lives are checked by government and any other actors for advice.
Better, there is need for inter-family relations to maintain closer look at the neighbor across the fence.
All these can be boosted by initiation of social forums in villages and estates to activate people, hence relaxing them.
A case in point is the famous bull fighting exhibitions where people would gather to watch and cheer animals wrestle each other down.
It is not that the bulls will be remembered for ever but as an engagement session for the people to gather, cheer and share amongst themselves.
Such events should be in stages.
Even from the onset, in the early stages of learning, learners should be taught the need to balance work-life so that no single life attribute should overtake the other.
Life is not about books, work and top life but should be a celebration, too.
Mental health is mental wealth; if the mind is not settled, the rest of the body will be ill.
The writer is a news editor at The Scholar Media Africa.