Kenya may not be the first place that comes to mind when considering the psychology hot spots of the world. But a growing community of mental health care professionals in the country is beginning to reap the rewards of concentrated efforts and inspiring diligence as a greater number of the nation’s inhabitants seek therapy and other forms of treatment. Holding its first meeting in what is to become an annual event, the Kenya Psychiatrists Association will meet this week in Mombasa to explore professional connections and networking opportunities while working toward the development of strategies for both greater awareness of mental health services and the amplification of their availability to the public. Though the association is still relatively young, the national interest in mental health care is hoped to help boost attendance.
Having played host to several traumatic episodes during colonization and the struggles for independence and stability, Kenya is home to a population that, while ever-focused on working toward bright goals on the horizon, is also often challenged by painful memories and experiences. The prevalence of mental health concerns among ex-prisoner populations, for instance, is substantial, yet modern services are largely inaccessible to some groups of people who may need treatment most.
The conference is scheduled to meet with the theme of “Transforming Mental Health Services in Kenya: Challenges and Opportunities.” The professional mental health workers in the country, recognizing both the distinct puzzles to be worked through as well as the great rewards available for those in need as well as the country at large, are likely to discover that their challenges and opportunities in many instances are one and the same.
Atwoli, L. (2009, August 15). Kenya: opportunity to define place of mental health in Kenya. AllAfrica Daily Nation. Retrieved from http://allafrica.com/stories/200908170814.html
© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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