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Activists wants gov’t to invest on mental health

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[Haki Africa Deputy executive director Salma Hemed. Photo/Pauline Kwamboka].

Coast based gender and childrens’ rights activists are challenging the government to initiate urgent interventions so as to curtail the strong negative impact of psychological suffering among Kenyans.

The activists say the current situation is dire and needs serious and urgent interventions for it to be contained.

Led by Haki Africa Deputy Executive Director Salma Hemed, they said that many Kenyans are suffering from mental related illnesses, a critical issue that should not be ignored.

Speaking in Mombasa on Sunday, Ms Hemed said the increased cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV), sexual violence against women and children, cases where people are committing suicide or killing their close relatives, spouses and other innocent people needs a second eye and thought.

According to Salma, a considerate number of Kenyans are going through tough economic situation, that also seem to have psychologically affected them, but they do not know where or whom to turn to for counseling and help.

“Our worries are  drawn from the recent incident in Bondeni, Mombasa where a 23 year old Abdulmajid Abdallah Fateh killed his own 69 father, Nagib Abdallah Fateh, slashed him into pieces and stashed the remains in a sack. This is extremely horrible,” said Ms Hemed.

She said all the bizzare incidents are highly linked to mental disorders that are further triggered by prolonged psychological suffering and depression among people.

“This issue need continuous dialogues and serious engagements among families so that the society remains safe,” she added.

[The remains of the late Nagib Abdallah Fateh stuffed in a sack and dumped inside a toilet in Bondeni, Mombasa. Photo/Ahmed Omar].
The human rights defender noted that currently the society is not safe following the escalation of very unfortunate incidents among them murder, rape, enforced disappearances, extra judicial killings which according to the activists have contributed to psychological torture and suffering among the Coastal communities.

“The National and County governments should work closely with the civil society organisations at grassroots level so as to quell the ugly situation yielded by various mental disorders,” she disclosed.