- Most students are challenged with issues of adjustments, cases of drug abuse, internet addiction, family separation, children abandonment and many more.
- The aim of having this program is to enhance mental health and well being of students.
MENTAL HEALTH. For years, this topic has been a taboo. That to admit you need the help of a psychologist or even a psychiatrist has been shameful. To make matters worse, it has been the subject of jokes in society more than of a serious debate.
But due to the rampant cases of mental illness today, there is an increased interest in the topic and this ugly trend is slowly diminishing.
In an attempt to address mental issues among students in institutions of higher learning, Mount Kenya University on Saturday, October 16 launched a psycho-education programme.
The month-long programme is geared towards creating awareness among young people, who often refuse to admit that they suffer from a disorder or look for help, partly due to insufficient knowledge, and partly because of fear of negative reactions from their peers.
Speaking during the launch, Mount Kenya University Co-founder Dr. Jane Nyutu said that the most common aspects of mental health that affect students are ignited by drugs abuse, internet addiction, family separation, children abandonment, troubled family backgrounds just to name but a few.
“Statistics show 1.9 million people in Kenya are suffering from depression and amongst them are young people. The aim of having this programme is to enhance mental health and well-being of students, equip students with skills such as study skills, and to enhance personal competencies for academic excellence,” said Dr. Nyutu.
Dr. Jane Kiarie, a psychologist, took the students through the vital topic of self-awareness, the key areas touching on self-awareness as well as tips of how to achieve self-awareness.
“It’s always you who understands who you are. We have 5 key questions in life; Who am I? Where am I coming from? Why am I here? Where am I going? How am I going there? You need to fully know yourself by knowing your strengths and weaknesses and taking a step of working on those weaknesses,” she asserted, adding that “the one person you will spend the most of your time with in life is yourself, so try and make yourself as interesting as possible.”
Conquering mental illness at Mount Kenya University
During this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day (Sunday, October 10), the Mount Kenya University fraternity led by student leaders commemorated the day by taking an eight-kilometre mental health walk within Thika area in Kiambu County. During the walk, they sensitised communities around their institution on the importance of mental health.
Bunge Mashinani Deputy Speaker Martha Nyamu told the students that everyone is unique in their own way and that they should not compare themselves to their peers. She also said that if any student feels like they are not okay, they should take the first step of speaking to someone to avoid getting into depression.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Everybody has a blueprint. I know it gets to a point when you may feel like things aren’t working as you thought they should. Suicide is not an option, speak to someone,” she said.