By Johnson Chengo
The County government of Kilifi has been challenged to established youth centers of motivation at the village levels to address cases of mental health problems among the youth.
Speaking in Kilifi Town, Kilifi County Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organizing Chairlady Witness Tsuma, said there is need to open youth friendly centers across the County, adding that mental health problems is an area of massive concern across the Country and Kilifi County is no exception.
“I believe the setting up of such platforms in the village levels will help to address the challenges affecting our youths and promote a creative and innovative thinking culture among them,” she said.
Tsuma made the remarks after Kilifi witness a surge in mental health cases among youth due to depression.
She also urged the County government to consider employing psychologist specialists in all the village dispensaries across the County to help manage the crisis.
“There is need for the County government to employ professionals including psychologists and counsellors in our dispensary health centers at the villages to help manage and cure mental problems in our County,” said Tsuma.
Tsuma also challenged youth to live within their means to avoid overloading themselves with unmanageable debts which she said could be contributing to depression.
She noted that youth aged 18 to 25 are the most affected by mental problems, representing 10 percent compared to 7 percent of those affected between the age of 26 to 45 and 3.5 percent among the people aged above 50 years.
According to a finding by the World Health Organization (WHO) one out of 5 persons who seek healthcare in Kenya has a mental health condition with depression taking the lead.
In 2020, Kenya constituted a Mental Health Taskforce which has recently gone through several reforms to improve healthcare for those with mental problems.
The Chairlady also referred climate change as a major contributor of hormonal imbalance among young girls, hence appealing to well-wishers to increase in supporting them with sanitary pads.