Mental health and physical health are inseparable and equally important yet only a small percentage of the 450 million people in the world suffering from mental and behavioral disorders access treatment. In Kenya, although no prevalence studies have been carried out, some site specific studies indicate that about 25-30% of people seeking outpatient care in rural facilities have a psychological problem co-existing with a physiological problem.

In an effort to increase Mental Health awareness in Kenya, BasicNeeds UK in Kenya (BNKE) and the Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, Kenya (USP-K), in collaboration with key youth ambassadors and other organizations supporting people with mental disorders are spearheading the ‘One mind, Lend your voice’ Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy Campaign commencing October 2010.

This campaign is to enhance awareness about Mental Health, Mental Illnesses and Epilepsy to the Kenyan public and reduce the stigma and exclusion, caused by ignorance, perpetuated against Persons with Mental Illnesses. The campaign is also to further call to duty the government, employers, parents, development partners, the media to put in place the necessary mechanisms to ensure that persons living with mental disorders have good standards of health and social economic wellbeing.

Some of the youth ambassadors on board the campaign include the renowned thespian Anthony Mwangi and Poetess Sitawa Wafula; the campaign will be officially launched during World Mental Health Day Concert/event that will be held at the Nairobi Railway Club on October 23rd 2010 from 9.00am – 4.00pm.

This Mental Health Awareness Campaign has the task of attempting to demystify and mainstream Mental Illness and Epilepsy, however we are confident with the media onboard, the campaign will be successful. As stated in the campaign taglinethe campaign tagline states; ‘One mind, lend YOUR voice!’

For more information, queries, comments, feel free to call Joyce on +254725814928 or email info@basicneeds.or.ke