Focusing on mental health in schools.

A mental health charity in Nakuru on Tuesday conducted mental health awareness campaigns and talk therapy sessions for students at Afraha High School and Rurii Secondary School to celebrate this year’s World Mental Health Day.
Psychiatric Disability Organization (PDO), an organization made up of professional counselors and survivors of mental illness conducted the event simultaneously in the two schools.
World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10th every year with the overall objective of raising awareness on mental health issues and mobilizing efforts in support of better mental health. Mental health in the workplace was the theme for 2017.
Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Speaking to peer counselors at Afraha High School, Iregi Mwenja the CEO of PDO reminded the students that mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being.
“It is upon you as peer counselors to identify and help the other students to be aware of existing mental issues such as obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorder, addiction and substance abuse disorder so that the affected students can get professional help,” said Iregi
One in five youth live with a mental health condition, but less than half of these individuals receive needed services. Undiagnosed, untreated or inadequately treated mental health conditions can affect a student’s ability to learn, grow and develop.
In addition, it could result to major problems such as chronic absence from school, low achievement, disruptive behavior and eventually dropping out.
However, with help from their guardians, teachers and friends, affected students could be assisted and eventually have an improved mental health. This could result to an enhanced academic achievement, increased academic confidence, enhanced respect for diversity and decreased oppositional behavior.
Schools looking for FREE services of psychologists/counselors to help ease stress levels or address other mental health challenges n their school can get in touch with PDO at: or 0723713642 (Iregi).

Susan Mutahi
Author: Susan Mutahi

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