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Mental Health awareness Month is marked

The Kenya Psychiatric Association (KPA) kicked off its annual campaign on the May Mental Health Awareness Month to educate Kenyans on the health condition.

Under the hashtag is #MentalHealth254, the Association will be engaging the public through TV interviews, radio interviews, newspaper articles, tweetchats and  online posters with key messages.

They will also involve the public on Facebook and Instagram sponsored messages, WhatsApp messages, YouTube, audio recordings, brief comedy videos, zoom panel discussions and webinars.

In a press release today, Dr. Boniface Chitayi, KPA President said that Covid-19 pandemic continues to have negative mental health outcomes among Kenyans with direct effects of the disease that may lead to bereavement but also loss of incomes and jobs due to the curfew and other containment measures by government.

This, he added, has resulted in higher cases of anxiety, depression, risk of suicide and Gender-Based Violence and in recent days, there has been an increase in reported cases of homicides and suicides pointing to the apparent deterioration of mental health.

“During this month, we urge you to engage members of our Association in your various programs to help in giving professional views on mental health discussions,” he called on Wananchi.

At the end of the campaign, Dr. Chitayi said they expect that Kenyans would have benefited with information that would help them to exercise better self-care leading to improved mental health.

During the first week of this year’s awareness month, Dr. Chitayi noted that the campaign hashtag #MentalHealth254 was one of the top trending topics on Thursday May, following tweetchat on the topic, “mental health and the emotional self”.

“We will continue to run tweetchats on different topics every Thursday”, he said.

The theme for 2021 is “promoting positive mental health”. The sub themes under this theme are: Mental health and the Emotional self; Mental health and the Physical self; Mental health and the Economic self; Mental health and the Social self and each sub theme will be covered for one week.

By Wangari Ndirangu

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