A Non-Governmental Organization in Homa Bay County dubbed, Development Link Africa (DEVLINK), has embarked on training of police officers on mental health.
The two-day training exercise that saw over 60 police officers from the eight sub counties converge in Homa Bay town, sensitized officers on how to overcome mental health challenges to prevent further loss of lives.
The NGO’s Director, Esther Soti, stated that the training was long overdue, especially with the growing number of police killings and suicides in the country.
“Mental health challenges have been an issue among our police officers that need to be urgently addressed because lack of the much needed help may result in harm to both the officers and their loved ones,” said Soti.
The Director further noted that informing the officers on how to handle mental health challenges as well as availing information on where to get help, would in the long run ensure quality delivery of services.
The unwarranted abuse of police weaponry, meant to protect the citizens will also be prevented, she added.
Soti reiterated that the training was only the beginning of the programme as a second phase will soon be carried out in the county.
Homa Bay County Police Commander, Esther Seronei, expressed her gratitude and confidence in DEVLINK’s initiative to provide the much needed education and sensitization on mental health.
“We are grateful that there are organizations that are looking out for our officers and the initiative by DEVLINK is a big step in ensuring police officers are safe as they deliver on their mandate to Kenyans,” added Seronei.
Kisii County Police Commander, Francis Kooli, who was also among the trainers, advised police officers to live within their means, adding that straining to live luxurious lifestyles will only push them into financial constraints, eventually sliding into depression.
He also implored the officers to come out and share their problems with colleagues and health experts in order to avoid tragic eventualities.
By Omar Zabbibah and Sitna Omar