𝑼𝒏𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒂𝒍 𝑴𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒂𝒍 𝑯𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒉 𝑷𝒊𝒍𝒐𝒕 𝑷𝒓𝒐𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒎 & 𝑳𝒂𝒖𝒏𝒄𝒉 𝒐𝒇 ‘𝑾𝒉𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝑪𝒐𝒂𝒕’ 𝒊𝒏 𝑽𝒊𝒉𝒊𝒈𝒂 𝑪𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒚
With about 13.75 million Kenyans suffering from a mental disorder, it is estimated that 90% don’t receive the treatment they require since it can be prohibitively expensive for many.
Vihiga County reflects national averages but with unique local challenges ranging from scarcity of mental health professionals to limited resources.
In a bid to address mental health issues, the County Government of Vihiga under the leadership of Governor Wilber Khasilwa Ottichilo has partnered with Mindful Kenya (an organization committed to enhancing mental health in Kenya) and The Ministry of Health to carry out the ‘White Coat’ – a mental health program designed to offer specialized support, address personal challenges and provide stress management resources among healthcare workers.
Mindful Kenya Project Lead Mrs. Mercy Mwende noted that Mental health is a silent crisis and that the ‘White Coat’, program aims to amplify the voices of those suffering and offer them not just hope, but real solutions by providing accessible, affordable, and effective mental health care tailored for different groups.
On her part, Mrs. Esther Kathini from the Ministry of Health (MOH) – Department of Health Promotion said strengthening mental health is at the core of our Health Promotion endeavors adding that partnerships like these propel the ministry closer to its mission.
The County Executive Committee Member for Health Services Dr. Nicholas Mwandihi affirmed that the county government of Vihiga is commited to addressing the pressing mental health challenges in the county and ths partnership is pivotal in achieving that.