Mental Health is often regarded as a taboo topic, with mental health service provision being lackluster at best in most rural and urban African contexts. However, with access to more knowledge on this topic, there are efforts to de-stigmatize mental health, offering a new perspective on the matter.
Mental health awareness has come in handy in educating the masses and this is where a World Health Organization flagship project focused on mental health comes in.
According to the WHO, the QualityRights initiative ultimately aims to improve access to quality mental health and social services and promote the rights of people with mental health conditions, psychosocial, intellectual, and cognitive disabilities.
Here are the four ways the WHO QualityRights initiative is tackling mental health in Kenya:
- It is said information is power, and QualityRights is harnessing that power for good.
The online training promoted by the QualityRights initiative offers interested parties such as health care professionals, psychologists, as well as those who may have been exposed to mental health matters a chance to learn more and grasp the benefits of complying by all basic human rights for all.
The course is open to all to sign-up and complete the course, is a great platform to sharpen one’s awareness on all matters mental health.
2. QualityRights initiative is transforming the mental healthcare landscape.
A better understanding of the mental health services sector is not only an attempt at defining the mental health diseases, it is also essential that one understands the patients and caregivers. With a more inclusion-based approach in decision-making on the treatment and lifestyle of those people with psychosocial, intellectual, and cognitive disabilities, QualityRights is focused on more than just the management of symptoms, but rather a more holistic methodology is applied to the care of mental health patients.
3. Disability is not inability, a message of empowerment and hope.
The QualityRights initiative champions the human rights of all those who suffer from phycho-social disabilities. Through the initiative, it is a new take on recognizing those previously termed as incapable and empowering them not only to make decisions but even to enjoy what is due to them.
It is not unheard of for people to be locked away in prison-like cells with no human contact or to be chained to their beds, unable to move. Violations are not restricted to inpatient and residential facilities however as reported by WHO; many people seeking care from outpatient and community care services are dis-empowered and also experience extensive restrictions on their basic human rights.
Human Rights should be accessible to all, and the program just goes to highlight how much neglect many with psycho-social impediments may have experienced, and offers a new prism through which mental health services can be offered.
4. Community involvement offers sustainability
When it comes to any societal change, community involvement is critical. The QualityRights Initiative not only seeks to enrich the mental health services sector through the medical officers and patients, but rather pursues sustainable change with the help of the community. For long lasting results that will lead to recovery of individuals dealing with psycho-social disabilities, the initiative calls for community involvement.
According to a 2020 report on mental health by the Ministry of Health in Kenya, it is estimated that one in every 10 people in Kenya suffers from a common mental disorder while one in every four people among patients attending routine outpatient services.
Depression and anxiety disorders are the leading mental illnesses diagnosed in Kenya, followed by substance abuse disorders. Among the different types of substances, alcohol contributes to the largest burden of substance abuse-related illnesses in Kenya mostly prevalent in the 18-29-year-old age group.
To learn more on QualityRights Initiative please click here.