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Task-force on Mental Health launched public participation drive

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki notes that according to the World Health Organisation 2014 report, ranked Kenya at position four in Africa with 1.9 million people affected/Courtesy

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 2 – A government constituted task-force on Mental Health has released its schedule for public hearings where expects to receive memoranda from members of the public.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki constituted the task-force in accordance with a Cabinet resolution mandating it to assess Kenya’s mental health systems including the legal, policy and administrative environment to identify areas that may benefit from reform, for optimal delivery.

President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the formation of the task-force amid rising depression and mental sickness related murder and suicide cases.

According to the notice, the task force chaired by Dr. Frank Njenga will kick off its public hearing with sittings on January 13 in Meru.

The team will then move to Makueni, Eldoret, Nakuru on January 14, 15 and 16 respectively.

They will then for move to Kakamega (January 17), Kisumu (January 20), Nyeri (January 21), Garissa (January 22) and finally Mombasa on January 23.

The Task force will complete its sittings in Nairobi on January 27, upon which they will retreat to prepare their findings for onward submission to the Ministry of Health for implementation.

In addition, the team is expected to broadly consider the changing societal dynamics and associated threats to mental well-being such as substance abuse, gambling, sexual and gender based violence, cyber bullying, child abuse and neglect.

Depression is the most commonest mental illness worldwide.

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The World Health Organisation 2014 report ranked Kenya at position four in Africa with 1.9 million people who have the condition.

According to the Kenya Mental Health Policy (2015-2030), 20-25 per cent of outpatients seeking primary healthcare present symptoms of mental illness.


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