Kenya Methodist University holds second global conference on mental health

Professor Edward Bantu, the Vice President World University Council addressing the press during the mental health conference held at KeMU main campus in Meru County recently. Photo: Jeff Mwangi

With the rampant cases of mental health illnesses especially among the youths majority university students, the Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) in partnership with other global universities such as Makerere University, Harvard University, Kabare University, McLean Medical School, Umma University, Kampala University, Olive Counseling and Treatment Centre, United States International university – Africa, Meru university of Science and Technology, Karatina University, Kisii University, are planning to establish a Global Mental Health centre namely Global Salama Centre of mental health and psychology at the Kenya Methodist University main campus in Meru County.

Speaking to the Education News during the second Global East Africa Mental Health, Hybrid Summit held at KeMU main campus Meru, Edward Bantu the professor of psychology under Inter University council for East Africa staff exchange programme said establishment of the mental health centre at KeMU will not only help in addressing cases of those people suffering from the mental health issues but also will assist in assessing people before they are employed and give people psychological First Aid  which will measure their preferences in terms of competences  and abilities that can be helpful not to the individual but to the community.

Professor Bantu the vice President for world council for psychotherapy.

“The Mental Health Centre will not only focus on addressing university students suffering from mental health issues but also will assist the neighbouring community members. It will also carry research to establish causes of mental health illness and offer First Aid to those suffering from mental health illness through counseling,” said Prof.

Prof Bantu said the centre will be able to create awareness about the existence of natural abilities within an individual which will help in knowing each individual’s career interest so that they can fit in relevant career areas.

He added that the centre will also be a referral system where students undertaking psychology can be referred to get experience and mentorship.


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Dr Rev Mary Kinoti, the KeMU Deputy Vice Chancellor said the summit and establishment of the mental health centre was very significant especially when dealing with issues of mental health which has become a menace not only here in Kenya but also in the world.

Dr Mary Kinoti the Deputy Vice Chancellor Kenya Methodist University. Photo: Jeff Mwangi

The DVC called on Kenyans to support anyone suffering from mental illness, saying, “I call upon Kenyans to support anyone suffering from mental illness.  We should not discriminate them, because will worsen their condition and might lead to suicide,” Dr Kinoti advised.

Bishop Catherine Mutua, the chairperson KeMU Council and also the Director Kenya Methodist Rehabilitation centre in Meru noted that most mental health illness was as a result of alcohol, drug and substance abuse.

Bishop Catherine Mutua the Chairperson Kenya Methodist University Council. Photo: Jeff Mwangi

“Majority of the youths start using drugs at a tender age of 12 years when in primary, and when they advance to secondary and University, already many of them are addicted to drugs leading to mental health illnesses. Also young adults, many of them are indulging into drugs and alcoholism immediately when they start earning after securing a job,” Bishop Mutua noted.

Dr Caroline Palavicino, the Assistant Professor Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in the US, noted that mental illness has become a problem in the world as the US is still struggling with this menace as well.

Dr. Caroline Palavicino from Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital USA . Photo: Jeff Mwangi

She said many people especially the youths are committing suicide due to mental illness caused by various reasons such as lack of money, drug abuse and alcoholism.

By Jeff Mwangi

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