mental_disabilities_kenya.doc - Persons Living with...

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Persons Living with Psychosocial Disabilities in Kenya 1. In Kenya, persons who have had social, emotional, traumatic and other mental illness crises e.g. schizophrenia are known to be mentally ill. They too believe of themselves as mentally ill, therefore incapable of exercising their disability rights. The society believes such persons are insane, mad, possessed by evil spirits, brain diseased, bewitched or suffering from a bad omen. As a result, persons undergoing such mental crisis are feared and believed to be dangerous to themselves and others. They are excluded/isolated from mainstream society and denied any life opportunity due to a believe that they are dangerous and fully incapable. Recommendation – There is great and urgent need to empower persons living with mental illnesses with knowledge of their identity as persons living with psychosocial disability. NB – Persons living with mental illnesses in Kenya, need urgent recognition as persons with psychosocial disabilities in order to benefit from rights currently provided for in Kenya’s Disability Act 2003. 2. Parents/relatives who can afford, send persons living with mental crisis to mental institutions where they are arbitrarily detained for as long as payment to the institution is sustained. In the institutions, existence of only five psychiatrists in the country result to wrong interventions under forced treatment for majority of those institutionalized. In the institutions, mishandling by unqualified support staff, torture, physical, sexual, psychological and verbal abuse are the order of the day. Isolation from society makes them completely invisible and forgotten by all including policy makers. Those parents/relatives who cannot afford the cost of mental institutions; isolate, chain and cage them at home where they are exposed to extreme inhumane and degrading treatment. They are exposed to a life full of torture as they are subjected to other person’s decisions. Those living with severe and profound conditions are not conscious of their rights as their caregivers deny them such knowledge. However, those living with mild and moderate conditions are conscious of their rights but an attempt to exercise them results to forced drugging, physical, sexual, psychological and verbal abuse.
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