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Covid-19 pandemic, social media influence causing mental illnesses in Kitui

 Kitui County Minister for Health Dr Winnie Kitetu has sounded alarm over rising cases of people suffering mental illnesses.

Kitui Health CECM Dr Winnie Kitetu during an interview at her office in Kitui town. Photo/JOHN MUSEMBI

Her Ministry is seeking for KSh50Million budgetary allocation to cater for the problem across the vast county.

Dr Kitetu attributed the surge in the number of mental illness cases to economic fallout occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen millions of people lose jobs and livelihoods wiped by Covid-19.

She also blamed social media influence as another cause of mental illness.

Mental disorder

Kitetu says that the KSh50Million funding will go to setting up trauma and psychiatric centres at Kitui County Referral Hospital. Research shows that 20 per cent of people seeking treatment in Kitui hospitals have a mental disorder.

“So, what I had requested for was about KSh50Million which may happen or may not happen. We're just waiting,” she told Mwingi Times during an interview in her office on Thursday.

The US trained clinical psychologist said she was well prepared to take care of the mentally ill in Kitui County.

Dr Kitetu attributed the reported cases of suicide to depression arising from hard life. “Forty percent of the people killing themselves through suicide are doing it due to depression caused by hard life where things are no longer working,” she said.

The Kitui Health CECM urged the national government to recruit and deploy at least one psychologist in each and every hospital in Kenya. She also said that the President Kenyatta-led government and counties should provide counselling to Kenyans across the country to tackle mental health issues.


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