Twenty-five percent of the patients seeking medical services at the Kitale County Hospital in Trans Nzoia suffer from mental health disorders brought about by depression due to lifestyle challenges.
Trans Nzoia County Director of Medical Services Dr Nancy Kegode said 1,167patients have been placed under psychiatric therapy at the health facility with 705 being new cases that were enlisted recently.
“Women lead the pack among patients who are under psycho-social support. The numbers rose during the Covid-19 pandemic era where incidences of grief and job losses were high,” Dr Kegode said during the commemoration of the World Mental Health Day in Kitale County Hospital.
She said the county government has initiated plans to set up a mental health unit to effectively handle the patients who are currently managed under a psychiatric clinic at the Kitale County Hospital.
The hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Francis Soita said the facility has a team of dedicated medical personnel that handle patients with mental health who are drawn from the county and beyond.
“Mental health is a growing health disorder that we handle in this facility. We commit to boost our service provision to play a role in containing this issue at our psychiatric clinic with an average of four patients seen in a day,” said Dr Soita.
The facility has two psychiatrists, thirteen psychologists, five psychiatric nurses, thirteen social nurses and five occupational therapists.
World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.
It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.
The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health.
The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
By Kosuri Valarie