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Six in Ten Youths are mentally ill, study shows

A survey done covering four counties namely; Kisumu, Kakamega, Vihiga and Bungoma has revealed that the number of adolescents seeking mental health services has doubled in the past two years.

The survey conducted by Access to Medicine and Tinada Youth Organization with the support of Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa found that at least six out of ten young people are suffering from mental illness.

The survey highlighted some of the causes of this condition to be ; drug and substance abuse, teen pregnancy, trauma, depression, and gender-based violence – which is rampant especially in Vihiga and Kakamega Counties.

The study conducted between August and December 2019 involved 326 respondents across all the counties and a total of 50 health facilities were involved. It further revealed that mental health concerns becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms caused recurrent stress and affected the body’s ability to function properly.

The affected counties have stepped in to address the rising concerns over mental illnesses by allocating funds as follows; Kisumu Sh.1.05 million, Kakamega county under Wycliffe Oparanya has allocated Sh. 20 million towards mental health care and management, Bungoma County has pledged Sh. 10 million and Vihiga county is yet to allocate resources and funds to curb the menace.

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