Depression Among Kenyan Youth On the Rise

Mental Health

By Eunice Malala

Sunday, October 13th was a normal sunny day for Helen. She had woken up to a call from her pastor asking her to lead morning glory at their church in Mlolongo. Having dedicated her life to worship and God’s service, Helen was more than glad with the task assigned to her. She left home early, living her 19 year old daughter Ruth sleeping.

The day had been a fulfilling one for Mama Ruth, and as she walked back home later that afternoon, her heart was singing praises, she was at peace with herself and proud of everything she was doing for the church and God.

Unknown for Hellen, Gloom and sorrow was waiting for her in her house. Hellen was surprised by the unmade house when she got home, her daughter Ruth had not moved a single thing since she left. Worried, Hellen had rushed to her daughters’ room to find out what the problem was. Ruth was not the lazy type and only one thing could explain the mess in the house; sickness.

Ruth’s door was still locked, and this worried Hellen even more. After few efforts of calling and asking her daughter Ruth to open the door without success, Hellen panicked and called for help from her next door neighbor.

Her worst nightmare unfolded before her eyes the moment the door was broken down. Her daughter Ruth lay sprawled lifeless in her bed, gone. She had swallowed a dozen of paracetamol tablets and left behind a note that explained her decision.

“My daughter was depressed for a very long time under my roof and I could not see it. She struggled with identity issues, body shaming and extreme low esteem yet I couldn’t realize. I had been too much occupied with serving others that I had time for my own daughter and I cannot forgive myself for that.” Said Hellen.

According to a 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) report, depression is a leading source of suicides in Kenya with many youths having depressive disorders that does not have an appropriate intervention yet. The same report ranks Kenya as number six with the highest number of depressed youths in African countries.

In the past one year, the Kenya media (TV/Radio news) has been flooded with cases of youths committing suicides, engaging in extremely immoral behaviors, sinking into drugs and harming others, which has been linked to depression.

“Many youths today are affected by anxiety and depression.” Said a mental activist Chitayi Murabula On an interview with Capital fm.

According to Vivian wamaka, a psychologist at St Patricks’ Hospital in Bungoma, Hellen’s daughter is among the growing number of youths wasting drowning in depression.

“Ruth had written in her diary how her friends mocked her because of her body. She was ashamed that she was big for her age and could not fit in a group of her friends who bragged about their curved bodies. It had totally killed her esteem and she was struggling to fit in.”

Said Ruth’s mother.

Social Media Pressure

A number of youths in Kenya are sinking into depression from the pressures around them, including technological advancement and lifestyle change. Growth of the internet, social media, addictive web games and the adoptive new life styles are some of the causes for many cases of depression. Unemployment, poverty and even stressful working environment are some of the factors putting depression among young people on a rise.

“Many young people nowadays keep comparing their lives with others on social media. There’s too much pressure of trying to be look cool, fancy and doing well in life. The truth is not everyone on social media is living the life they keep portraying on social media and this has derailed many youths.” Said Jackie a psychology student at Kenyatta University.

Adolescents

Adolescence and getting into adulthood can be thrilling with good opportunities but has also has a good share of risks and challenges. Without support and help, many people at this stage may not be able to successfully lead meaningful lives.

Parents are therefore advised to spend more time with their children to be able to understand them and help them wherever possible. This according to psychologists would help point out symptoms or any signs of depression in their young children.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Withdrawal, lack of interest in what one loves doing, sudden change in behavior, social isolation,  change in eating or communicating habits, low self-esteem, frustration over small matters, insomnia, use of alcohol or drugs, unexplained body aches, less attention to one’s appearance, self-harm, and irritable moods.

With depression among Kenyan youths becoming a ticking bomb, it’s clear that the nation too is at risk of losing out on the benefits of a youthful population.

Early Interventions

Studies has shown that early interventions for depressive disorders is a preventive strategy. We need more intensified Mental health awareness campaigns in the country in order  to help in the prevention and reduction of depression cases among the youths.

As a parent, your support, guidance and love could help your young children to get their life on track. Talk to them to help them build positive habits and be able to manage stress and anxiety.

If not treated or attended to early enough, depression can be very damaging. Focus on listening, seeing and trying to foster positive lifestyles to make a world for our young generation.

Remember to seek professional help from a mental health professional when someone’s depression gets severe or is out of your control.

 

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City Hall Increases Parking Fees to Sh 400

Nairobi county parking fees reduced to Sh 200

Motorists in Nairobi, are set for a dull Christmas, following plans by the county government to hike parking fees to Sh 400 up from Sh 200 in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD).

According to a notice issued by the County’s Director of Parking Tom Tinega, the new parking charges will take effect from Wednesday next week.

Buses will pay sh 1000 per day.

However, Zones outside the CBD like Westlands, Upper Hill, Community, Ngara, Milimani, Yaya Center, Industrial area, High ridge among others will remain at Sh200.

The revision of the parking fees follows the enactment of the County’s Finance Act 2019.

The Sh 200 parking fees for small cars took effect in January 2this year, following a reduction of the previous Sh 300 that had been set during the tenure of former governor Evans Kidero.

Kenyan react to Sh 400 parking fees

Kenyans have taken to social media to protest the increased parking fees, terming them “punitive” and mocked governor Mike Sonko for having misplaced priorities.

Ben Oketch Tallest During the NBI gubernatorial debate, Sonko vowed to halve the parking fees from Shs. 300 to Shs.150 if he is elected the governor…….3yrs down the line, as the governor in office, he wants to do the exact opposite of his promises. Theatrics and Circus in city hall will never end.

Jairus Peter Mfalme I agree with Sonko, the extra fee is to fund for the purchase of a large umbrella which will cover Nairobi county from rain and floods.

Kanja Wa Kamulu It’s should be buses 2000sh and 1000sh for cars, 500sh bodaboda,400sh for tuk-tuk, 300sh for mkokoteni, trolley 100sh, for the public bench 20bob, and those who sleep at Uhuru pack, 10sh

Ibrahim Ananda I now support Kalembe Ndile and those you said that Sonko escaped from prison and he should go finish his jail term as from Wednesday.

John Thuo Nairobian’s elected a lunatic for a governor. They will learn that it’s not about populism but real agenda from a real human being who is healthy and mentally stable that they can have a transformative leader.

 

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Leaders Call for Unity after BBI Report Unveiling

BBI Report unveiled

Top leaders have urged Kenyans to shun divisive politics and remain united following the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, while launching the BBI report at the Bomas Of Kenya on Wednesday, urged leaders especially not to divide Kenyans.

“I appeal, especially to the political class. Do not divide Kenyans, they do not deserve it. We are here talking about their wellbeing. We are here talking about their peace,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Deputy President William Ruto also urged Kenyans to ensure that BBI report is not hijacked by politicians for their own selfish agendas.

National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principle Musalia Mudavadi, in a winning speech that moved Kenyans and earned him praises on social media, also said the BBI report is not about sharing political seats and called for sobriety in handling the report.

“Everybody has talked about sharing political seats, what about motivating the civil servants? What about motivating the teacher? What about motivating the private sector? The BBI is not about sharing political positions. It is bigger than that,” he said.

Mudavadi challenged Kenyans to read the report for themselves and internalize the recommendations without the undue influence of political rhetoric.

“Let us be sober in this discussion. Let us interrogate the document. I don’t want someone to read the document for me. I want to read it myself. I hope every other Kenya will today rise to the occasion and say ‘I am making a decision today because I have read the document and not because Musalia Mudavadi has read it for me’,” Mudavadi further stated.

New Beginning for Kenya?

Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka also said the BBI report marks the beginning of a new Kenya. “One indivisible united Kenya”.

Kalonzo further stated there’s a need for cross-part deliberations on the BBI report, and said his party will convene a National Executive Council on Thursday to deliberate on the contents of the report.

Raila Odinga said The Building Bridges Initiative task-force report will be handed over to a team of experts who will give away forward on the proposals made by Kenyans, Opposition Leader Raila Odinga has said.

The Building Bridges Task-force

The BBI report is the child of the “handshake” between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga in the political tensions that ensued following the disputed 2017 presidential elections.

The Building Bridges task-force, led by SEnator Yusuf Haji was unveiled to oversee the report.

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Death Toll In Pokot Landslide Rises to 43

Death toll in Pokot landslide reaches 43

The number of deaths following Saturday’s landslide in West Pokot has now risen to 43 after six more bodies were discovered on Sunday, according to the area governor John Lonyangapuo.

Governor Lonyangapuo also said that the Kitale-Lodwar Highway, which had been rendered impassable by the heavy rains had been cleared.

Travelers in Ortum, West Pokot County had been left stranded. after heavy downpour cut off a section of the road, again. Motorists attempting unorthodox means to cross over

The landslides hit the West Pokot villages following heavy rains on Saturday.

Hundreds of Families have been left displaced from their homes even as they come to terms with the tragic loss of their loved ones.

On Saturday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi said the government had deployed military and police choppers to help in the recovery efforts as well as scale-up responses to immediate needs of affected families.

The affected families are currently camping in schools and churches.

 

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FINALLY……….A Digital Occurrence Book (OB)

Police services introduces digital Occurrence Book (OB)

Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai on Thursday launched a digital Occurrence Book, that will replace the good old manual book.

According to the IG, the digital OB is in line with the government’s policy of digitizing services that are critical to service delivery to Kenyans and will help keep permanent records and  “guarantee transparency and accountability in Police operations at the station level” across the country.

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