Life as we know it is currently riddled with so many pressure points: At personal, family and society levels. The pendulum of life is set in a way that each and every person is battling a pressure point that is only understood by them. We are witnessing a gradual shift at the rate at which the pressure points are becoming unimaginable and uncontainable because they are swinging so fast, in so many non-directional ways that the human capacity is so stretched to bear. It is not lost to me that so many factors lead to an individual struggling with their mental health, i.e.:

  1. The unmitigated levels of stigma towards mental health in our societies
  2. Kenya’s chocked out economy that is rendering many people helpless when it comes to providing for their families. Helplessness and lack of hope, for those ho might not know are key ingredients for depression and anxiety. Two of the most common mental health conditions around the globe. 
  3. High rate of suicides and homicides that can be attributed to mental ill-health struggles being reported in various parts of the country every single day. And, with awareness that suicide is one of the major depression symptoms, we can safely argue that these deaths by suicide can be saved should we be deploying our resources to evidence-based mental health interventions
  4. The family fabric is shredded beyond repair in some cases and in others, the family unit is non-existent. This poses a huge challenge on the social structures and their role in fostering belonging and offering social support. 
  5. Drugs and substance abuse has become an escape route for many a people, regardless of the disastrous ramifications; even among health care workers.
  6. The divide between the haves and the have-nots continues to widen with insurmountable income gaps and ravaging unemployment rates. The correlation between unemployment and mental ill-health cannot be overlooked.
  7. A deep-rooted selfishness continues to permeate society at alarming levels.

The mental health issues being witnessed cannot be wished away or silently snuffed. Debate continues to rage on, on exactly how one is expected to deal with mental health challenges. I cannot purport to speak from a professional point of view, rather encourage each and every person that comes across this note to remember that their present circumstances do not in any way determine where one can/should go, they merely determine where one can start! No matter the situation, no matter the circumstances, no matter how bleak the night was, every day we are encouraged to begin our day with courage and hope: By getting out of bed! It is easier said than done, especially when many at times the struggle is to wake, dress up and show up to the circumstances of yesterday. 

Brethren, let us be encouraged by the fact that we are all fundamental believers in the either the Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita or the dictates of a Supreme Deity. What we also can agree on, is if one wakes up, that is a clear sign that they still have an opportunity to do something, say something, handle something on this earth, a situation that shouldn’t be taken for granted. The journey is not easy, but talk to someone you can trust, create spots and moments where you surround yourself with constructive good cheer, participate in a hobby that is not so cost intensive, but one that reminds you of the joys of being alive, handle one aspect of life/good or bad, then move on to the next, try as much as possible to keep hope and faith alive that circumstances will change, and favourable tides will blow your way too. I finish this by reminding all of us that: 

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.” — Fred Roger


Just because no one else can heal or do your inner work for you, doesn’t mean you can, should, or need to do it alone. You are precious than you will ever fully comprehend! – Lisa Olivera. 

Have a Hope Filled Wednesday!

JN Maragia

Foundation’s President.

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