The Government has been challenged to set up a mental healthcare facility within the coast region following an increase in mental illness in Kilifi County.
This follows a one week sensitization campaign on mental illness in Kilifi that revealed lack of access to mental healthcare owing to the lack of a facility.
Following a one-week sensitization campaign on Mental health illness it was revealed that the majority of mentally ill persons are suffering in silence due to lack of access to health facilities.
This has prompted calls for the government to establish a centre of recovery for persons with mental illness within the coast region.
The one week campaign dubbed ‘Difu Simo’ a Giriama phrase meaning Breaking free was as a result of a collaboration between government institutions and non-governmental organizations.
Nancy Kipkemoi a mental health worker from Portreiz hospital mental unit Mombasa says mental illness is a big problem which has not been addressed adequately.
She said the community believes mental ailments are caused by witchcraft and hence never bothered to access medical care.
Mary Bitta the project’s Principal Investigator and researcher from KEMRI WelcomeTrust Kilifi said there has been an increase in cases of mental illness in Kilifi county which has often led to discrimination and stigma in families.
She said due to that some of the victims often commit suicide following depression as they feel isolated.
Bitta also warned against using traditional treatments to treat mental ailments.