The conversation on mental health has been going on for a while in the world. In Kenya, it has gained momentum over the last two years especially. At Still A Mum we provide counseling on child loss, postpartum depression and general loss and bereavement among other issues affecting families today. We are especially passionate about pregnancy and/or early parenthood (PEP) mental health. A mental well being workshop was therefore the natural progression to our work.
Because of this, we have been conducting workshops on “safeguarding your mental well-being”. We have done so in events such as the annual Baby Banda fair and World Down Syndrome Day in partnership with T21 Family among others. We have also conducted these workshops in churches such as Full Gospel Church Meru, JCC (Jubilee Christian Church) and Crossroads Fellowship Nyali. Now, we constantly say that Still A Mum is not a faith-based organization – we are here to serve people of all faiths, color, age, etc
This is why the opportunity to speak to women at the Masjid Mwajuma Mosque in Spaki, Mombasa was so refreshing. It was nice having a chat with the Imam about mental health and the work we do with families. He was anticipating about 30 women to attend as word was passed about the event and so he gave us a new venue – the Al Munawwarah College where they conduct Madrasa.
We had an amazing time talking about the misconceptions we all have about mental health. How when you hear the world “mental health” most people think of “crazy/mad people we see on the streets”. We explored and discovered there are many mental illnesses in various degrees. For instance, a bit of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is seen as normal and even funny. We also looked at self awareness as women specifically about our mental health. How do you know you’re stressed? Do start having trouble sleeping? Do you lose your appetite? Do you eat a lot? How do you know all is not well mentally? Do you wait until you are so overwhelmed you’re crying in public to know you’re not OK? We then dug into practical self care activities as a way of healthy coping in life.
Women hold homes together – looking after husbands, children, houses, siblings and even extended family members. We are then required to show up for work and bring in 100% with no room for failure. Then be present friends, supportive religious group members and the list goes on. It is therefore completely important that we look after our mental health to ensure we don’t pour from an empty cup.
This mental well being workshop was a success and we look forward to conducting more all over the country. Would you like us to come do this at your place of work? Or church? Mosque? Upcoming event? Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reach out!