How your support is helping to bring mental health services within 100km of every Kenyan

Mental health services in Kenya are woefully under-funded. Of an already modest annual health budget, only 0.5% is allocated to mental health. What’s more, the majority of this small budget is directed to psychiatric hospital care in Nairobi, leaving the rest of the country with extremely limited access to mental health services.

Thanks to supporters like you, we were able to send £11,485 to the Kamili Organisation to fund 10 mental health nurses from the start of their training through to placement in rural clinics where they will launch their own mental healthcare programmes.

Kamili reaches out to some of Kenya’s most vulnerable people, offering them the support and treatment they need to overcome mental illness. They currently operate three mental health clinics in Nairobi and also run community programmes, helping to traise awareness of their services and working to overcome the stigma surrounding psychological illness.

What’s more, with our support, they are training mental health graduates and funding positions for them in clinics and hospitals in rural areas where there are no mental healthcare services.

One patient to receive treatment from the Kamili team is 42-year old Edward Njau Kinyanjui. Edward had been suffering from epilepsy for 10 years. With treatment often out of reach financially or due to distance, his convulsions meant that Edward struggled to hold on to jobs: “I initially used to pay a lot of money getting medical care for just my symptoms and the drugs were very expensive and hard to find.”

Thanks to the counselling and treatment he receives from Kamili, Edward is now enjoying a better quality of life. “Before I came to Kamili I use to convulse daily, but now it comes after a long period,͟he explains.͞Psychological Counsellors have taught us healthier coping skills on life challenging issues which help us improve and change our perception about life.”

With his illness more under control thanks to his treatment, Edward has established his own business. He now rears pigs to sell at market, and uses the profits to buy food for his family.

Slowly but surely, the growing Kamili team is transforming the mental health landscape in Kenya. Their goal is to have a mental health nurse within 100km of every Kenyan – no mean feat in a country covering almost 600,000 square kilometres. With your continued support we’ll be there to help them every step of the way.

Your support helps Kamili train mental health nurses like Salome

I trained as a Psychologist after my son was treated for a convulsive disorder by Kamili. The most  rewarding thing is to see the positive impact evident in our patients, and seeing them resume their normal lives. On a usual day I assess and counsel four patients, either at the main clinic or as outreach. Mental health in Kenya is underfunded – it is not given the priority it deserves. This makes it inaccessible, unaffordable, and poorly managed. The stigma around it results in patients isolating themselves, being discriminated against and unabe to provide for themselves or their families. I wish Kenyans would be better informed on mental illnesses – we could create a better world for the mentally ill.

Salome Gaitho Kamili
Psychological Counselor