May being mental health month -Let’s talk about the elephant in our heads in our friends and society.
According to WHO “every 40 seconds one person commits suicide worldwide.”
Then comes the untold story of the 20 who attempt suicide every forty seconds..
In Kenya accurate data of suicide may be difficult to get due to under reporting or misreporting of suicide attempts or death, due to the penalty in Kenyan law for attempting suicide. not forgetting the high stigma involved people prefer not to share such information. Many cases going unrecorded.
Making mental health the silent epidemic in Africa due to the undiagnosed unmanaged mental illnesses across Africa.
But current statistics say 4 people commit suicide daily in Kenya.
There’s always a thin line between suicide and mental health, Particularly depression. In a 2017 WHO report, Kenya was ranked the 6th African country with 1.9million diagnosed Kenyans suffering from depression..
20% of those who attempted suicide come out to talk about their struggles with suicidal thoughts..
The larger number hiding in masks of success and happy lifes (this are our friends,family members,classmates)
We fear being vulnerable. We fear people seeing that we don’t have it all together.
The society has created such a stigma around depression and suicide that people hardly wanna talk about it. people choose to go low key and fight their battles alone for us long us they look okay on the outside.
Wanna know how bad the stigma is? ask families who have lost their loved ones to suicide.
Being told that; they were never good enough. That they watched their loved one suffer.
Let’s get closer to the ball “the stigma survivors of suicide go through.”
The unwritten myths that being a victim of mental health/suicide is a weakness.
“you were not strong enough to fight your own problems We all have problems we just deal with them” …..“How selfish it was for you to want to take your own life” they are told.
Not forgetting them being sent to pastors than being sent to a therapist.. Or thrown into mental health facilities.
I wish we would take a different approach when it comes to mental health. 50-60% of those who attempt or commit suicide are victims of this mind games(mental health).
Most of them never spoke about the battle in their minds or even seeked professional help.. They let this mind games drain them the will power to live. They let themselves become slaves of their own mind.
I know the journey with mental health can get bumpy and sloppy.
Waking up to hopelessness,the whispers in your head getting louder, situation doesn’t seem yo get better. all this and more can be hard to take in..
But what if there is a solution to all that? HELP, don’t be afraid to seek help. Even if the thought of committing suicide has never crossed your mind your mental health is as important as your physical health.
Talk to friends(also be that friend that your friends can count on) , if possible start therapy sessions there are some free therapy sessions(“Kamili Organization in lower kabete”,online counseling etc) or read more on how tackle or cope with this battles(there some sites you can access more information about how to cope (better help,mayo clinic)
I won’t lie that the journey will be over as soon as you seek help but I will promise you it will get better.
But just don’t do one thing. Give in to those thoughts.
keep fighting, battles are there to be fought not surrendered to. Don’t give up on yourself. Hold on to life even if it means holding on to the last thread.
Don’t accept to be a slave of your own mind be the master. Take control!