Uhuru directs Health Ministry to establish taskforce on mental health


Uhuru directs Health Ministry to establish taskforce on mental health
President Uhuru Kenyatta chairs a Cabinet meeting on November 21, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU

In Summary

  • The Head of State, speaking while chairing a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, tasked the taskforce with coming up with new policies to address the growing concerns about mental health among Kenyans.
  • He further stated that the findings of the taskforce, which will be discussed in Cabinet within 90 days, will assist government in allocation of resources to mental health.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday directed the Ministry of Health to establish a taskforce on the status of mental health in country.

The Head of State, speaking while chairing a Cabinet meeting, tasked the taskforce with coming up with new policies to address the growing concerns about mental health among Kenyans.

He further stated that the findings of the taskforce, which will be discussed in Cabinet within 90 days, will assist government in allocation of resources to mental health.

The Cabinet also approved the establishment of Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital and the designation of Gilgil Hospital as a satellite mental health facility of Mathari.

President Kenyatta’s order comes days after the government was urged to act on rising depression and mental sickness related murder cases in the country in recent times.

The most recent one being where Major Peter Mugure is alleged to have killed his estranged wife Joyce Syombua and their two children.

The bodies of Joyce Syombua (31) and children; Shanice Maua (10) and Prince Michael (5), were discovered at Makaburini in Thingithu area, approximately 9-minutes away from the Laikipia Air Base, with the children stacked on top of their mother.

There has also been the case of Joseph Muchiri who committed suicide following commencement of investigations into the brutal murder of his wife Faith Wangui in which he was the prime suspect.

Speaking during a press conference held on Tuesday, two legislators opined that depression is the major cause of domestic violence and murder.

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