The recently released Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report has reccomended the creation of a mental Health and Happiness Commission under a new legislation on mental health which will be mandated to address the rising cases of mental illness among Kenyans.
“Stakeholders recommended important actions which the Government should take to alleviate their suffering and that of their loved ones who face this debilitating condition,” the document states, “These recommendations include development of legislation on mental health to provide, among other things, for the establishment of a Mental Health and Happiness Commission.”
In the final proposals presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga in Kisii, the 14 member steering committee on BBI noted that the proposal was among the issues raised by a special task force which was appointed in 2019 to address mental health issues in the country
A taskforce chaired by Dr Frank Njenga was formed in response to the presidential declaration of rising cases of mental health in the country.
It was tasked to find solutions on making mental healthcare accessible, lowering the stigma faced by mentally ill patients, and providing support to their caregivers.
In their recommendation, the Senator Yusuf Haji-led team further proposed an increment of funding for mental health services at both the county and national governments.
The BBI report also called for the fast-tracking of the enactment of the Persons with Pyschosocial Disabilities Bill and the development of the National Happiness Index.