Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people every year and no one should feel ashamed. By sharing our experiences, together we can end the stigma.

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In Kenya, mental health conditions have been criminalised by the systems

As a child I was very curious. I was restless and always fidgeting in class. By the time I was a teenager I began experimenting with different things. I was always looking for a high. I wanted something to make me happy, because most of the time I felt sad.

That’s how I got into high-strength alcohol and started smoking weed. It reached a point of no return and I couldn't work anymore, I could not fit into social circles.

I was subjected to electro convulsion therapy due to a diagnosis of substance-induced psychosis. But in the real sense, I had depression.

Ask twice to show that you really do care and are ready to listen

Living with a mental illness can be extremely isolating and lonely. The relationship is two-way: others may not reach out as you have been understandably distant due to feeling unwell, and you may not contact others for the same reasons. It’s a vicious cycle.
 

I felt like I couldn’t speak to anyone about my mental health

When I figured out something was wrong it was too late. It consumed me. I was so close to going through with it until someone rang and snapped me out of the way I was feeling. At the time I thought I had no one, no family or friends. I felt like I couldn’t speak to anyone about my mental health. 
 
I had already lost a close friend to suicide. I’d heard about the high suicide rates amongst men which made me think “why is there no help for men to talk about their mental health” - because at the time I didn’t know how or where to get help from. 
 

Breaking the silence around mental health

I am not good enough. I am not worthy of love. I am not smart enough. I am not successful enough. I am not slim enough. I am not pretty enough. 
 
I am one of the 1 in 4 people who suffer from mental illness. 

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