On Monday, March 13, the government announced that it would establish wellness and counselling desks at all Huduma Centres throughout Kenya.
Public Service Principal Secretary (PS) Amos Gathecha made this announcement during a familiarisation tour of the Huduma Centre in Nairobi, while discussing the government’s digitisation agenda.
The PS stated that the government will employ trained professionals to provide these services, which will be free for all members of the public.
Due to the limited number of desks, the counselling services will also be available by telephone throughout the day and night to cater to as many people as possible.
Gathecha explained that the wellness and counselling desks aim to address the rising mental health challenges across the country, which have led to an increase in suicide cases, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH).
In 2020, one in every 10 people suffered from a common mental disorder, increasing to one in every four people among patients attending routine outpatient services, according to estimates.
Additionally, reports by the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that mental illness mostly goes undiagnosed among men in Kenya.