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REPORT ON THE WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY 2015 EVENT
Appreciation goes to Liberty Life Insurance who made a financial contribution to the event and ROK Industries for providing candles for the event and all the participating organizations who contributed both in cash and kind and also gave their time in preparation of the event. Appreciation also goes to the Media Houses; Kenya Broadcasting co-operation, Citizen Radio, Coro FM and Kameme FM who gave us airtime play for the day.
The speakers of the day came from various organizations that are stakeholders in the issue of suicide and mental health. Among them were Ms Merab Mulindi of Befrienders Kenya who is also the national representative of the IASP and the African regional coordinator for Befrienders Worldwide, Prof. David Ndetei the Director of Africa Mental Health Foundation, Dr. Gladys Mwiti, the chairperson of Kenya Psychological Association, Dr. Katherine Talbot and Ms Rebecca Gitau of Gender Violence and Recovery Center, Ms. Clare Kerubo, Kenya Institute of Professional Counseling and Ms. Rose Kiragu of Lahai Springs Drug Rehabilitation Center and Ms Margaret Karani the Counselor at PCEA Kikuyu Hospital who gave statistics from the host hospital.
Introduction of the Universal Suicide Prevention Awareness Ribbon
Befrienders Kenya in partnership with the Mental Health – Department of Mental Health launched the Suicide Prevention Awareness Ribbon. This was during the World Suicide Prevention Day national event held on 9th September, 2016 organized by the Ministry of Health at the Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital in Nairobi. This is also the largest psychiatric hospital in East Africa.
The event which brought together participants from various institutions and organizations saw various speakers emphasize on the importance of the theme. Participants took part in the traditional candle lighting ceremony where those that died by suicide, survivors of suicide attempts and those bereaved through suicide are remembered.e your paragraph here.
World Suicide Prevention Day 10th September 2016 - This year we hosted our event at Moi Avenue Primary School. Please see our review for our presentation on Connect, Communicate and Care and help us to support those in need.
Type The two-toned ribbon which was initiated by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and launched globally indicates a candle flame which symbolises walking out of the darkness into the light and is in line with the candle lighting activity which is a tradition often associated with the day. In introducing the ribbon, Ms Mulindi of Befrienders Kenya which is a member of IASP noted that, “In uniting behind a shared universal ribbon, we hope to increase awareness of suicide prevention - the more we wear the ribbon, the more it will get known. The desire is for the suicide prevention awareness ribbon to become globally recognisable, much like other ribbons for other worthwhile causes.”
There were various speeches by invited guests who included: The Medical Superintendent of the Mathari Hospital, the Department of Psychiatry University of Nairobi and Chairman Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital, the Department of Mental Heal (Ministry of Health) among others.
The event had earlier begun with a procession which raised awareness on the event and the day as participants clad in the colourful orange T-shirts marched to the venue carrying a banner indicating the day and was led by the Kenya Prisons Band. The orange T-shirts were carefully selected to be in sync with the Ribbon and so were the venue decorations.
The organizers of this year’sWSPD
had a clear way forward and
there are already discussions on
action in the following areas:
Decriminalize suicide in Kenya
De-stigmatize depression and
Integrate mental health in primary health care
Have a call center [SOS] reaching out to people in threat of suicide and homicide
Collaborate with Community Health Workers to ensure a wider reach especially at the grass root level
Train volunteers in suicide prevention skills
Engage religious, political,community and opinion leaders in de-stigmatizing suicide
Engage Ministry of Health on the WHO Report on Suicide and implement the mhGAP [mental health Global Action Plan] 2013-2020
Last year, Befrienders Kenya took part and marked the World Suicide Prevention Day with the theme : Reaching Out and Saving Lives.
The day which was started in 2003 as an initiative of International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) supported by World Health Organization (WHO) is observed on 10th September each year to promote
worldwide action to prevent suicide. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major cause of death. Organizations, government agencies and individuals promote awareness about suicide and mental health illnesses associated with suicide, as well as suicide prevention.
Suicide in many cases is preventable but is still a leading cause of death all over the world and Kenya is no exception to this. The theme for this year is Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives and as suicide in Kenya is still a taboo subject and shrouded with silence, we are working to sensitize Kenyans with awareness, information and support to de-stigmatize suicide, accept mental health issues as they are and seek help. We are also strengthening support for those bereaved by suicide.
In 2015, Befrienders Kenya teamed up with Samaritans Medical Services,
PCEA Kikuyu Hospital, My Mind- My Funk and African Mental Health Foundation
to observe the World Suicide Prevention Day whose theme was Reaching Out and Saving Lives.
The event held at PCEA Kikuyu Hospital (30 kilometers from Nairobi City Center) on Thursday
10th September, from 9am – 1pm bought together 300 guests from community groups, health workers, students and representatives from schools, colleges and universities along with media coverage and the general public. There were various presentations from experts, personal testimonies among other activities to mark the day.