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Institutions urged to establish mental health platforms

Institutions of Higher Learning have been called upon to encourage conversations on mental health among the youth, as the platforms will help to improve the young peoples’ mental health and wellbeing.

Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Ms. Nadia Abdalla said the involvement of young people in such discussions will help to address the challenges affecting them and promote a creative and innovative thinking culture among the youth.

“I believe the platform will help instill a culture of autonomy and self-reliance as opposed to the degenerated habits such a gambling and dependency,” said Nadia.

Speaking during CNI-University of Nairobi Innovation Challenge Award ceremony held at the University of Nairobi, the CAS said the youth have not been able to address their challenges due to lack of a platform to express their creative and innovative ideas, as well as lack of seed capital and technical knowledge required to actualize their ideas.

Ms. Nadia assured that the government, through the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs will continue to promote avenues that promote and keep young people engaged so that they can be part of realizing the country’s sustainable development goals.

She commended the Institute of Creative and Innovative Ideas and the University of Nairobi for coming up with the initiative whose model provides problem statements relevant to the society and involves the youth to develop innovation solutions.

Ms. Nadia said the submission of ideas by the youth and having various partners on board on the platform will also benefit them on matters of mentorship, parenting and funding.

The CAS said some of the challenges facing the young people are caused by lack of a platform to share ideas and the Covid-19 pandemic have contributed to the high rate of unemployment affecting a high percentage of the youth.

“It is critical that we provide platforms, opportunities and a conducive environment where they can tap into their creativity, energy and innovativeness to create jobs, establish industries and build our nation and our continent at large,” she stressed.

During the event, best innovators were awarded for being winners of the innovative challenge that ran form 1st November to 19th November this year where students were required to suggest innovative ways to help curb the rising mental health related vices in the Kenyan society.

CNI is a platform that discovers thinkers, creators and innovators and awards them Sh.100,000 and other assorted gifts, which include KFC voucher, CNI merchandise, Huawei Smartphone, shopping vouchers and laptops.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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