• Every year on October 10th the world marks the day with the aim to educate and raise awareness of mental health issues.
  • This year’s theme is Suicide prevention. 
  • One person dies every 40 seconds as a result of committing suicide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Today is the World Mental Health Day. Every year on October 10th the world marks the day with the aim to educate and raise awareness of mental health issues.

The day was set up by the World Federation for Mental Health and it was first celebrated in 1992.

This year’s theme is Suicide prevention. One person dies every 40 seconds as a result of committing suicide, according to a World Health Organization (WHO). Every year on September 10th is world suicide prevention day.

Depression is a leading cause of suicide, accordign to the World Health Organization 2017 report. Clinical depression, anxiety disorders, PSTD from sexual assault and other forms of abuse – are all classified as mental disorders that one should never have to deal with alone.

Kenya’s mental health policy estimates that about 25% of outpatients and about 40% of in-patients suffer from mental health conditions. The most frequent diagnosis of mental illnesses made in general hospital settings are depression, substance abuse, stress and anxiety disorders. 

Mental health in Kenya is grossly underfunded, forcing most of those suffering from it to suffer silently or seek private treatment which is very costly.

Sign post to the Mathari National Hospital (Twitter)

To further worsen the situation there is very little data on suicide rates in Kenya, making it near impossible to understand the underlying causes of suicide.

Joyce Nanjala, who works in the WHO’s Kenya office, said the lack of a “national survey” on suicide and “very limited surveillance data” makes it difficult to track suicide trends.

“It would be helpful for the country to conduct systematic review of local epidemiological studies to have a better understanding of the local suicide trends,” she told Africa Check.

Kenya is ranked as the sixth country with the highest number of depression cases among African countries.

Kenya is ranked as the sixth country with the highest number of depression cases among African countries. Mathari Hospital is the country’s national referral hospital for Psychiatry and the main teaching psychiatric hospital.

Here are 5 health centres you can easily reach out to to advise and guide you about suicide prevention.

Befrienders Kenya

Befrienders Kenya. (courtesy)

Befrienders Kenya is an NGO specializing in mental health education. This charity organization focuses on suicide prevention by offering emotional support to those in distress, also creating suicide awareness within communities. 

AMPATH Kenya

AMPATH Kenya. (courtesy)

AMPATH is involved in a number mental health efforts in the Kenyan community for the awareness, prevention and treatment of mental disorders including suicide.

AMPATH is a partnership between Moi University, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, North American universities led by Indiana University, and the Kenyan Government.

Africa Mental Health Foundation 

Africa Mental Health Foundation. (courtesy)

This Non-profit organization aims at conducting mental health research and dissemination of findings, developing innovative practices for mental health services in the context of prevailing socio-cultural and economic factors in Africa, capacity enhancement in mental health and mental health research and advocacy in mental health and the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities to influence policy.

Intrapersonal Health (IPH)

Intrapersonal Health. (courtesy)

The organization was formed in 2016 and specializes in providing holistic solutions to mental health. 

Amani Counselling Centre

Amani Counselling Centre. (courtesy)

Amani Center provides support in the areas of depression, anxiety, challenges in personal relationships and addictions. They are a faith-based organization located in Nyeri, Kisumu, Mombasa and also Ugunja.