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State plans to increase counselling centers

The government is planning to increase the number of guidance and counselling centres in both urban and rural areas in efforts to curb the rising cases of murders and homicides associated with mental illnesses.

State Department for Social Protection Principal Secretary (PS) Joseph Motari said that the counselling centres will be structured in a way that people can be able to express their issues in confidence and get mental assistance.

Speaking on Friday during the public sector budget hearings held at the Kenyatta International Convention centre (KICC),  Mr Motari said that some of the emerging issues affecting the sector included violence against children in the society, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practices, mental health, drugs and substances abuse, cybercrime and gambling among youths causing depression, suicide, homicide and other criminal activities.

“Cybercrime and bullying should be regulated by the government since it has become a huge source of stress and depression among the youth and there is need for the formulation of laws on how to deal with those that bully others online,” said Motari.

The PS added that the ministry is also working to ensure that the rights of children and the vulnerable in society are considered and protected.

“We are working round the clock to create employment opportunities for the youth by nurturing their talents and sporting activities,” he said.

Motari explained that in terms of promoting talents among the youth the sector had created open platforms for more than 10,000 artists and in sporting activities, it took teams to participate in global games outside the country.

The PS stated that previously the allocated amount was not able to meet the needs of this sector and hence they sought other alternatives including sourcing for funds from Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

“Due to budgetary constraints, we have had to find other means of sourcing resources for programmes outside the budget allocated funds,” said Motari.

By Eunice Wangare Wambugu

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