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By JULIUS MBALUTO

As the world prepares for October 10th, 2021 the main World Mental Health Day under the auspices of World Health Organization to be commemorated, here in the UK, the focus, the talks on the subject have started.

The key objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support. The talks happen for stakeholders to address the realities of the problem and find out what needs to be done.

 

Stakeholders, professionals, health workers and leaders gathered over the weekend at Holiday Inn, Watford in Hertfordshire, UK attending Mental Health Forum hosted by Eva Mbiru and Kenyan Women in Watford. The event was graced by leaders from the area with the area MP Dean Russell attending.

 

The panel and attendees addressed various issues pertaining to mental illness. Young people attending shared different experiences and how schools have no clear coherent policies on how to help students who might be at their early levels experiencing mental illness. Experts shared that stigma contributed and compounded the problem.

 

MP Dean Russell and Julius Mbaluto 

Leaders attending also learned from those dealing with mental illness on the ground how important it was to increase and sustain funding. Those attending also heard how Covid-19 pandemic has increased the numbers of people with mental illness.

They also learned how they can get help. As well, all were encouraged to care about their neighbours, for example, speaking to them and finding out if they were fine.

 

According to Mental Health England, 1 in 4 people have mental health issues, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a mental health issue each week. There are around 20 million people in the UK who will experience it. Stigma and keeping the issue under wraps doesn’t help. The talks during Mental Health Forum proved that sharing and talking about the issue remains the best way forward.

 

 

Faith Mathangani & Lilian Wangari both authors 

Eva Mbiru Speaking

 

Entertainers who kept attendees on their toes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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