HomeHealthMinistry of Health launches five-year plan to combat mental illnesses

Ministry of Health launches five-year plan to combat mental illnesses

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health launched a Mental Health Action Plan that would guide them in tackling mental health issues until 2025.

Following a tough year in which the pandemic brought to the fore perennial mental health problems in Kenya, the Ministry of Health said that the plan provided a framework that would transform the country’s mental health journey over the next five years.

Critical agenda

During the launch, Health CAS, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, said that the government had made the plan a critical agenda for investment. They were committed to investing and implementing activities that would uplift the mental health and well-being of all Kenyans.

“The Mental Health Action Plan 2021-2025 will provide a framework for both National and County Governments and stakeholders to implement the Mental Health Policy and Taskforce Recommendation through strategic actions with specific targets and indicators,” Dr. Mwangangi said.

Plan to include county governments

The plan, she said, would seek to achieve effective leadership and governance in mental health, and implement programs that promote mental health. It would also ensure comprehensive and high-quality mental health services at all levels.

“County governments are expected to play a crucial role in the implementation of the mental health action plan as most health services and programs remain devolved functions,” Dr. Mwangangi went on.

She also said that the plan was in line with the Universal Health Coverage plan that the government was implementing. It was also in line with Sustainable Development Goals and Global Mental Health Action Plan.

Mental Health care in Kenya

In Kenya, data from the Health Ministry estimate that one in ten Kenyans suffer from a common mental health disorder. Kenya’s inadequate medical care means many people live with mental health disorders without any diagnosis or treatment.

Lack of awareness of mental health disorders has also resulted in stigmatization of people living with mental illnesses. Additionally, the Kenyan government has come under scrutiny in the past for lack of mental health response plans.

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