#UrbanHealth #Movember took place at Urban Eatery, located at Delta’s PwC Tower, Westlands, Nairobi. Kenya’s top psychiatrists attended the inaugural event as Kenyans – both male and female – congregated to help men break down barriers and talk about their health.
The Thursday evening session saw the community explore all matters mental illness, and share their experiences under the guidance of Dr Frank Njenga, Prof Lukoye Atwoli, Dr Linnet Ongeri, Dr Kingi Mochache, Dr Judy Kamau and Veronica Wawira Kamau.
Men, too, suffer from depression, was the general consensus. Unfortunately, most avoid sharing their feelings – bottling up or acting out as a form of escapism – to their detrimental end.
One of the common outcome of mental illness is outbursts – sporadic, uncontrolled and unexplainable flare-ups – said Dr Ongeri.
“Every outburst has an underlying issue. If diagnosed, it can lead to events that happened when you were young at age,” she said.
“Some of personal therapies for anger management issues include gong for hikes, gym and walking,” added Dr Mochache.
Dr Njenga said Kenya is home to only 106 psychiatrics, and the Kenya Psychiatric Association is empowering young medics to pursue the profession in order to pump the figures up.
“We have limited resources to drive the campaign on mental illness. But we are doing our best,” he added.
The #UrbanHealth movement is an initiative by Urban Eatery and Kenyan Wall Street to raise awareness about men’s health issues, especially depression. The event was sponsored by East African Breweries Limited.
The rationale is that men also suffer from depression just like women, but often refuse to do anything about it. In addition, depression affects men differently and they often use different coping methods (healthy and unhealthy), and it often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed.
Some of the coping methods by men suffering from depression include:
- Escapist behaviour, such as spending a lot of time at work or on sports
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Controlling, violent or abusive behaviour
- Irritability or inappropriate anger
- Risky behaviour, such as reckless driving
If you are experiencing any form of mental illness, or know someone going through it, kindly contact the above psychiatrists through:
Veronia Wawira Njeru
Clinical Services Manager
Chiromo Lane Medical Centre