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St. Joseph Educational Center


December 5, 2020
December 12, 2020
Event Category:


St. Joseph Educational Center
Nairobi, Mugunda slums, Kenya


St. Joseph Educational Center

Project Title: Promotion of Mental Health Awareness and Inclusion in UHC Policies at the Community Level – Nairobi County, KenyaIntroduction and Background
The status of mental health care varies widely across communities in Kenya. Although there are policies to deliver services for mental health conditions in primary healthcare care settings, integration of such require system strengthening. Many facilities deliver care mainly in institutional settings and need dedicated advocacy and support in phasing out long-stay institutions and developing community-based alternatives.
Over the years, there has been a focus on small mental health initiatives that have had only short-term funding. This limits impact and has not paved the way for sustainable scale up to reach whole populations. Further, it has led to ad-hoc learning about the facilitators and barriers to scaling up effective interventions or strengthening systems to embed mental health care. While Kenya has made progress in increasing population coverage with both healthcare services, and financial risk protection, huge gaps exists in integration of mental health services. The COVID- 19 situation witnessed over the past 10 months in Kenya has aggravated mental health situation in Kenya especially among families living in the slums of Nairobi, who lost their livelihoods, children not attending schools and limited social activities. This has increased the need to advocate for the need to push for systems strengthening to include mental health as part of Universal Health Coverage for optimal reach to as many individuals, families and communities with mental health services in Nairobi’s slum populations, Kenya
Advocacy Approach /Methodology:
Our project aims to raise community awareness about the importance of mental health in the context of COVID-19 and beyond; and rally support of local leaders, mental health professionals, religious leaders and other stakeholders around mental health and psychosocial support is inclusion in UHC for preparedness, response and recovery in emergencies. The components of this project is twofold:
• Establishment and hosting a week long information kiosk on mental health awareness, UHC and COVID-19
A week prior to UHC Day 2020, St. Joseph Education Center will establish information booth to increase awareness on mental health issues in the wake of coronavirus, Universal Health Coverage, Maternal Health and other health issues affecting urban slum populations. Using community health volunteers who will be trained, we will produce and distribute IEC materials including face masks with UHC logo printed on them to bring awareness to the community on the aforementioned. The information booths will be located in open public places at strategic points’
• Hold a dialogue and civic participation session, to promote health and well- being of vulnerable groups women, children, youth, older people through a stakeholders’ forum. The stakeholders will be drawn from mental health professionals and relevant health representatives as well as local political leaders who will deliberate on mental health issues as it affects the community, strengths of available policies, their weaknesses, policy gaps as well as descriptions of new challenges to be addressed. The culmination of this dialogue will be documented and presented to the county government health committee executive for policy consideration and integration.
Target Participants and Audience:
This project seeks to reach out to vulnerable children, youth, men and women living in Mugunda slums of Nairobi; mental healthcare providers, government officials and other stakeholders and opinion makers and policy influencers at the community level.’
Key Messages:’
Mental Health and COVID-19
Schedule: Implementation Plan
Week one starting 5th December 2020: Recruit project participants and volunteers
10th December 2020: Hold a planning meeting
12th December 2020: Hold stakeholders’ forum to mark UHC day
Scope of Works
St. Joseph Educational Center will host mental health information awareness campaign in the context of COVID-19 by establishing an information kiosk, one week to the actual date of UHC. On the material day, the organization will bring together stakeholders to share experiences, strengths, weaknesses and UHC policy gaps to be shared with the county government’s health executive council for inclusion and consideration.