Mental challenges are likely to be on the rise during the post-election period.
Though mental issues cannot be cured entirely, therapy is very helpful, hence Jaramogi Oginga Odinga teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) is getting ready to handle mental issues during this period.
The concerned department has created space where counselling sessions will be undertaken, making support available to everyone in need.
Those who suffer mental illness all too must be able to deal with daily tasks, mental services must be improved.
Beyond creating a counselling room partners, dealing in mental health are pushing for it to be declared a disability.
It’s against this background that the County Government of Kisumu, yesterday honored Ms Loice Akinyi for her work in creating mental health awareness.
She was awarded at JOOTRH, with the CEO, Dr George Rae, who was also joined with partners working in the line of mental health. Her parents and those she works with were also present to witness her receive the prestigious award.
Her hard work saw her nominated early this year to compete for National Defenders Coalition award and she was the only person living with a disability that made it to the top, securing the second runner’s up among the many participants.
Akinyi creates mental health awareness by talking to everyone whom she notices is experiencing mental challenges, she opens up to them encouraging them in a language that they could also overcome the condition like she did.
Akinyi has been going about this whole heartedly moving from house to house, she has also been advising parents whose children have suffered defilement while their matters pend in the law courts.
Due to her hard work and persistence and determination, organizations such as KEFEADO joined in to support her, they donated sanitary towels to be distributed amongst vulnerable mentally challenged ladies annually.
Tinada and Nacada have also supported her course by empowering her to advocate against drug and substance abuse.
Born epileptic, Akinyi grew up experiencing lots of challenges “I never got a chance live as a normal child, I convulsed often and at times I lost my memory.” She said.
Against odds, Akinyi continued with her primary education and later on joined high school, during then, she come across many others who suffered mental health illness.
“My school mates were also going through the same situation, yet in silence, the were having difficulties in interacting and were not social.” She adds.
“I tool initiative to learn more about mental health issues and how I could help others that were also going through the same, though the degree differed.” Akinyi adds.
In her school she could talk to students who were showing signs of mental illness like long-lasting sadness, irritability, extreme high and low moods, excessive fear, worry or anxiety, dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits among others.
Akinyi became more aggressive, creating mental health awareness in the communities, this was however met with resistance from her family who wanted her to engage in else.
“This task has not been easy, sometimes I lack transport, sometimes I’m forced to spend my last penny to buy food for the mentally challenged people who unable to afford a meal.” She adds
Akinyi Called upon the County Government provide job opportunities for the mentally challenged saying they can clean and a clearing bushes in schools and hospitals, adding that lack of resources triggers depression among the health challenges.