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Mental health to form part of primary healthcare framework

by The Brief
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Mental health issues will now form of mental care, should the proposal by a nominated senator sail through.

While meeting the members Mental Health Task Force led by Dr. Frank Njenga, senator Silvia Kasanga intimated that the high numbers of Kenyans suffering from mental health deserved top priority in the provision of primary healthcare services.

It’s estimated that approximately one in every four Kenyans suffers from a mental condition.

Hon. Kasanga, the sponsor of the Mental Health Bill, added that the materialization of her bill could also design a way of fighting stigma associated with mental health in Kenya.

Kasanga further added that the absence of physical illnesses during hospital visits should attract the full attention of psychiatrists or counsellors.

“If the doctor cannot find anything or any physical manifestation of illness there should be a psychologist or counsellor nearby who can then take over the case. He can then treat you for mental illness,” she said.

She further added that it was possible for Kenyans to make hospital visits on mental health needs without the activation of stigma or fear of social judgement.

The taskforce is expected to hand in their public participation report to the President by the end of this month for substantive action.

The senator observed that suffering from mental health is not crime and all stakeholders in the healthcare sector must accept the rise of mentally driven conditions in the country.

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