We work and support local CSOs to undertake mental health evidence-based advocacy. We assist them to improve mental health policy formulation, implementation and mental health budget allocations.
Additionally, advocate for increased access to good quality care and treatment for persons suffering from mental health.
We also support mental health campaigns to advocate for the rights-based perspectives in service provision for mental health persons.
About Mental Health and Mental Illness
Mental illnesses affect how we think, feel and act. How we handle stress, relate to others and how we make choices can also change as a result. Abnormal behaviour does not have to be anything absurd.
It can take the form of a talkative person who suddenly does not feel like engaging other people at all, sleeping too much or too little, or even having random outbursts over small issues.
Such changes in our behaviour, however small, can usually mean a greater underlying problem.
Key Signs of Mental Illness
These signs are often found in our behaviour and drastic changes in emotions. Symptoms can vary from person to person but they can include;
- Excessive fear
- Extreme mood changes
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Problems with alcohol or drug use
- Excessive anger
- Suicidal thinking
Having one or two of these symptoms does not mean you automatically have a mental illness but it could indicate that there is a bigger underlying problem to be addressed. Especially if the symptoms are recurrent.
Common Causes of Mental Illness
While mental illnesses can occur due to triggers such as stress, going through something traumatic like an accident, abuse or a brain injury.
Sometimes, it may occur due to family genes and chemical imbalances. Mental illnesses come in many forms. They are anxiety disorders, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychotic disorders.
A psychological therapist can help identify which exact illness you may be suffering from and the available treatment options for it.
Not many people know what resources are available for them in regards to their mental health. Most people turn to alcohol, sleep or food which are not very healthy ways of dealing with stress or mental illnesses.
They might even make things worse and develop into addictions that become lifelong struggles to overcome.
So where can you go for help?
There are organizations that you can call for mental health-related help like Befrienders Kenya 0722178177 and Niskize 0900620800. The government of Kenya also has a helpline, 1199 that you can call for help.