By Alice Kainda, Project Manager – Nascent Research and Development Organization
Mental health is a basic human right. It is the greatest asset in an individual’s life as it guides learning, socialization, work and coping with stress. A healthy mind is crucial to an individual, the community, and socio-economic development; therefore, safeguarding the community’s mental health is protecting the nation’s future. Mental problems manifest in the form of Mood Disorders, Psychotic Disorders Personality Disorders and/or Anxiety Disorders and can be caused by psychological, social and biological factors; substance use; or exposure to unfavourable socioeconomic, cultural and demographic situations, such as poverty and violence. Therefore, understanding triggers to one’s mental wellness are crucial in the development of resilience and coping mechanisms.
In Kenya, we celebrate World Mental Health Day with a more giant smile this year, following the enactment and publication of the Mental Health Amendment Act three months ago, and with the year’s theme; Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All a Global Priority there is need to acknowledge that mental health begins with you and me. Therefore, in commemorating World Mental Health Day 2022, we believe self-care is a step towards mental wellness. We, therefore, challenge you to be kind to yourself. Say positive things about yourself. Reaffirm your existence. Acknowledge the steps you have made towards greatness. Stand up, go to the window and take a long deep breath. Take a walk, listen to music, cook your favourite meal, or call a friend. Do that which makes you happy. There is no health without mental health.