The conversation on Youth and Mental Health in Kenya

Mental health among young people in Kenya has been said to have a major impact on families, communities, the country’s health, and socio-economic development. An effective evidence-based multi-sectoral intervention is much needed to curb the situation.

Crime Si Poa, in partnership with  Digital Media Institute (ADMI), held discussions with students on matters of mental health among the youth and different tricks and tactics available that young people can employ to maintain stable mental health. 

Speaking during the session held at the ADMI on 19th November 2021, Terry Gachau, a psychologist, touched on entitlement, a personality disorder that starts a negative trait that develops into a mental health disorder over time.

“Entitlement is an issue that stems from childhood and is often displayed through recurring actions like, throwing tantrums to get your way or refusing to share personal items i.e toys”, Said Gachau. She further added, “If the behaviour is not tamed at a young age, it evolves from a habit to a personality trait that may also lead to mental health issues.” 

Gachau gave the youth some insight on how the personality disorder comes across and the characteristics they can look out for, not only in others but also in themselves. 

“Entitlement is not an achievement,” warned Gachau, urging students to seek help from a psychologist to handle such mental health disorders. “The first step towards change with disorders is acknowledging that you have a problem and seeking help,” she added.

According to Hemstone Mugala, a Crime Si Poa, Resident Psychologist, mental health is all about maintaining balance, knowing how to manage both the negative and the positive situations in life. He further emphasized on the importance of self-awareness in maintaining positive mental health. 

“It is important to identify your triggers, know how they affect your mental state, and note the things that give you fulfillment,” said Mugala. 

The session was very interactive with students deeply engaged in the discussion offering their point of view and asking questions. Most of them identified the use of hobbies as a tool to get their minds off negative situations. 

“I play football to get my mind off the issue,” said one of the students. ADMI students acknowledged that such sessions on mental health gave them the insight needed to deal with everyday challenges and prevent a lot of mental issues from arising.

Youth Safety Awareness Initiative Wins 2021 Juliette Gimon Courage Awards

May 20, 2021 

The Youth Safety Awareness Initiative (Crime Si Poa ®), is proud to be among the winners of the Juliette Gimon Courage Award granted by the Global Fund for Children.

 “We’re pleased to recognize Youth Safety Awareness Initiative and Free Minds for their incredible work ensuring that children and youth impacted by incarceration have the tools they need to achieve their goals and create change in their communities,” said John Hecklinger, President and CEO of Global Fund for Children. “These organizations share the brave and passionate spirit that made Juliette such an extraordinary advocate for children around the world.”

Crime Si Poa ® and Free Minds Club were among the two publicly named winners hailed for championing the arts and education as tools to empower young people in conflict with the law. The two organizations were also acknowledged for advocating for criminal justice reforms and supporting young people who are directly impacted by incarceration as they lead efforts for change.

Crime Si Poa ® recognition was primarily due to its work under the community outreach program in empowering incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth.

This award honors and validates Youth Safety Awareness Initiative’s courage in boldly undertaking a paradigm shift on community leadership narratives,” said Peter Ouko, the Executive Director.

 “Crime Si Poa has borrowed the Global Fund for Children model of trust in localized solutions, and so by equipping and empowering children and youth – irrespective of their backgrounds – through education, access to justice, and social enterprise, we envision realizing a safe and crime-free society for all.”

The award not only serves as a motivator to the organization but more so vouches to the important work the organization is doing in the community.