, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – Mental illness continues to claim hundreds of thousands of lives across the world yearly, as most people turn to suicide instead of speaking out for fear of stigma associated with mental illness.
As part of measures to offer a solution to mental health, Capital Group through its online platform Bonga.or.ke on Thursday partnered with the Chiromo Lane Medical Centre to offer professional counselling services to Bonga users.
Bonga was launched last year and allows people to anonymously post their struggles and get instant help.
Dr Frank Njenga, a Director of Chiromo Lane Medical Centre said the partnership has come at the right time and will help fight mental health stigma which is the major impediment to solving mental health illness.
“One of our biggest problem is the stigmatization of mental health issues. The foundation of stigma in general is ignorance and I believe that through this initiative we as experts in the field of mental health working together with a group that has a very wide reach we will be able to de-stigmatize all areas of mental illnesses,” said Njenga.
According to him, mental health stigma is high in men as there are more reported cases of women seeking help for mental health.
Njenga further said his team of experienced psychiatrists and psychologists will respond to the platform users’ concerns adequately and professionally.
“I would take this as the first step in a long journey that hopefully will allow Kenyans and indeed any other person who is reached by our group to better understand the causes, effects and consequences of all the mental health issues that we will be discussing. At the end of the day, I believe we will have a well informed and healthy society to the benefit of all,” he said.
Capital Group Managing Director Somoina Kimojino assured of collaborative efforts in offering expert counsel to Bonga platform users.
“Bonga has been close to our hearts and we are really glad that Chiromo Lane is on board to partner with us and we look forward to a long journey of bringing mental health awareness and removing the stigma around it,” said Kimojino.
The platform will start receiving professional responses by CLMC beginning February 1.