Earlier this year, Rock fans lost an icon to suicide – Chester Bennington, lead singer for rock group Linkin Park. The impact of his death was felt worldwide, including Kenya, because their music spoke to several angst teens from early 2000’s. It also opened doors for the discussion of suicide, and the subject of mental health.
By the end of 2016, Kenya had a reportedly 1.9 million depression cases – the World Health Organization ranked Kenya sixth with the highest number of depression cases in Africa. We must have this conversation with our friends and family, lest we lose more people we can still save.
A group of young Kenyans who have been directly or indirectly affected by mental illness have come together to create awareness. The Mind My Mind movement plan to use their talents and skills to fight the stigma around mental health and wellness. Below are the images they captured, swipe to view:
Know someone who you might think is depressed?
- Be there to listen: Ask them how they are feeling/doing, and listen to how they feel. If they want help, be there for them.
- Encourage them to get help: It is important for a friend with depression to seek help.
- Advise them about services offered where they can get help: Befrienders Kenya +254736542304 +254722178177 (regular call charges apply). They offer free listening services to people who are in crisis and/or suicidal. https://www.befrienderskenya.org
- Don’t force them: Especially if they aren’t ready to talk, don’t force them to.
Look after yourself.
- Monitor your moods yourself and your stress levels.
- Take time to relax and do activities that you enjoy.
- Whenever you need it, ask for support from people you trust.