BBI proposes creation of Happiness Department


BBI proposes creation of Happiness Department
FILE PHOTO: Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta (L) greets opposition leader Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition after addressing a news conference at the Harambee house office in Nairobi, Kenya March 9, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo

The highly anticipated Building Bridges Initiative(BBI) report released on Wednesday has recommended the creation of a happiness department.

The 156-page taskforce report with a clarion call to Kenyans to read the document, proposed the creation of the department in a bid to address the mental well-being of Kenyans

”Ministry of Health should have a Department of Happiness, Wellness, and Mental Health dedicated to
working on policies and standards in this area,” the report read.

According to the report, the department should work alongside the Ministry of Culture to ensure that the programs they set up to enhance mental wellness are in line with the people’s cultural views and approach towards the subject matter.

“The should be promoted to counties that have the health mandate… as part of the work on the Human Development Index, Kenya should produce a disaggregated Happiness Index,” read the reccomendation.

This recommendation comes at a time when cases of suicide and homicide have seemingly been on the rise in the country, with experts attributing them to depression, desparation and other mental health conditions.

Last week, a middle aged man jumped off a ferry, plunging into the Indian Ocean in a suspected suicide case.

According to witnesses, the man who appeared disturbed, threw himself into the ocean by running through the back end of MV Harambee Ferry.

In September, a police officer in Kirinyaga County committed suicide by hanging himself with a leso in the bedroom of his house at Wang’ata village in Kirinyaga Central.

In June, a man killed his three children and seriously injured three others by shooting them while asleep at their home in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

In May, a man killed his wife before committing suicide in Kiamumbi estate along Kamiti Road.

Albert Mwangi, who was in his 50s, struck his wife to death with a blunt object before ingesting a poisonous substance and hanging himself at their home in Kiambu.

In a suicide note addressed to his four children, Albert painted an image of a sour and rocky marriage with his wife, Milcah Mwangi, a businesswoman who was in her late 40s.

These incidences also caught the attention of President Uhuru Kenyatta who during his Madaraka day speech said: ”To any Kenyan out there who is suffering from depression or feelings of hopelessness, I beseech you to reach out and talk, you are not alone,”.

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