REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Ministry calls for combined efforts to prevent suicide Embu, KENYA September 11, 2018

Embu Governor Martin Wambora and Head of Intergovernmental Unit,Dr. Patric Amoth light a candle to mark World Suicide Prevention Day

Embu Governor Martin Wambora,Head of Intergovernmental Unit,Dr. Patric Amoth and Director of Mental Health Dr. Simon Njuguna during the World Suicide Prevention Day in Embu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KMTC students participate in a walk to mark the World Suicide Prevention Day in Embu.

KMTC students participate in a walk to mark the World Suicide Prevention Day in Embu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has provided a platform to advance mental health services.

Through UHC the Ministry of Health shall improve access to mental health services to ensure early identification and effective management of mental disorders and harmful use of alcohol and other substances.

The revelations were made by the Principal Secretary for Health, Eng. Peter Tum in a speech read by Senior Deputy Director of Medical Services, Dr. Patric Amoth during the commemoration of the World Suicide Prevention Day in Embu.

The PS said the Government has prioritized suicide prevention as a key strategic action in the Kenya Mental Health policy (2015-2030) and intensified efforts to reduce risk factors associated with the health systems.

The PS said this will be realised through formulation and implementation of mental health policies and strategies, improving access to health care services, equipping health workers with competencies to manage suicidal behavior and raising awareness about mental health, substance use disorders and suicide.

“Suicide is a serious public health problem that needs to be tackled by all stakeholders. Globally, 800,000 people die annually by suicide. It is also the second leading cause of death in young people aged 15-29 year olds,” he noted.

In Kenya, the World Health Organisation data indicates that about 1408 people commit suicide annually which translates to four deaths by suicide daily. It’s impact on families, friends, communities and nations is devastating.

The PS called upon community members to take responsibility, look out for persons with suicidal behavior, engage them, link them to treatment and follow-up care, fight stigma and support those bereaved by suicide.

“That is why this year’s theme Working Together to Prevent Suicide is most befitting as it calls for Communities to play a critical role in suicide prevention,” he added.

Currently, the Ministry of Health is training primary care providers, emergency workers, community health workers and other gatekeepers to enable them to identify mental health problems in communities especially persons going through adversity and refer those with suicidal behaviour to further interventions.

He noted that suicide deaths have traumatic impact on families, communities and the country’s health and socioeconomic development and urged all stakeholders to work together for effective implementation of the policies, strategies and priority actions that prevent suicidal behaviour.