SU Championing Mental Health Awareness
Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949. This trend has over the years permeated the rest of the world and continues to be a channel through which awareness is made. On May 6th Strathmore Law School in conjunction with the ALN Academy opened up the conversation on zoom with a focus on “The Mental Health of Lawyers”. Speaking in the event were Dr. Peter Kwenjera, Dean of the Strathmore Law School, and Karim Anjarwalla, Managing Partner at ALN Kenya – Anjarwalla & Khanna. As an ongoing initiative this month, the Strathmore University Medical Center (SUMC) continues to address the plight of mental health.
What does World Health say about Mental Illnesses?
According to the World Health Organization, mental illnesses affect 19% of the adult population, 46% of teenagers, and 13% of children each year. People struggling with mental health are in our families, living next door, teaching our children, and even working with us. However, only half of those affected receive treatment, often because of the stigma attached to mental health. Untreated, mental illness can contribute to higher medical expenses, poorer performance at home, school, work, and even suicide.
What are some of the issues that SUMC seeks to address?
- Demystifying mental health – Your brain just like any other body organ deserves support and sympathy. It is truly not easy to tell what someone is dealing with on the inside just by looking at them. You just don’t get over it. Healing is a process.
- Your mental health matters and you matter! “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also harder to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increase the burden: It is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken.” ~ C.S Lewis
- The belief that people with mental illness cannot work is a myth. Contrary to the stigmas surrounding mental health, people suffering from mental health issues can be ambitious, motivated, capable, and successful.
- Not anyone can do counseling. Always seek professional help. You can take the steps towards healing.
What step has Strathmore Law School taken to promote mental health?
The Strathmore University Press Legal released a publication on mental health and general wellness. Learning to Live: Rest and let go by Dr. Fernando Sarràis comes at a time when the world, is filled with considerable uncertainty, ultimately causing an increase in mental and physical stress and anxiety. Dr. Fernando Sarráis who is a psychiatrist, helps us understand the problem of psychological and emotional fatigue. He tackles questions such as the characteristics and signs of psychological fatigue, activities that can help us rest better, how to improve our sleep, laughter and good humor, happiness, how to stop worrying, and how to achieve a life balance that prevents psychological and emotional fatigue.
Remember, mental health experts agree that a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. In most cases, symptoms can be managed with a combination of medications, talk therapy, and guided self-help.
Learning to Live: Rest and let go by Dr. Fernando Sarràis is available at Fontana Bookshop at Strathmore University, Text Book Centre and Signet gift shop for Kshs. 1,000.
Your mental health matters and you matter! Talk to us! SUMC Mental health hotlines: 0724255169/0793380485
This article was compiled by Annete Karanja.
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