The Reason to Hope is an important community organization in Kenya dedicated to helping people suffering from a wide range of problems including drug and alcohol abuse, stress, depression, as well as other mental health ailments.
Based in Nairobi, their main objective is to provide a variety of professional mental health services based on the three following pillars:
- The Reason to Hope
- The Use of Positive Affirmations
- The Use of Family Dynamics
Raising Awareness for Families and Communities
The Daily Nation released an infographic with some sobering statistics:
- 25% of Kenyans will suffer from mental disorders in their lifetime
- 5 out of 6 with mental illness don’t seek treatment
- 99,840 mental health patient visits in 2016
- 1 out of 7 patients are from Nairobi County
- 62 psychiatrists in all of Kenya
As societal demands grow and the penchant for material goods increases, this burdens many people to the point that they are unable to cope with their living situation. As stress builds, this can lead to depression, which further exacerbates an already difficult situation.
Individuals suffering from depression deal with a serious array of issues such as the inability to be productive or maintain healthy interpersonal relationships in the workplace or home, and a tendency to rely on dangerous substances as they sink further and further into a negative cycle. The stigma of mental illness is a powerful one that can contribute to an inability to actively seek assistance in dealing with their issues.
Oftentimes, sheer ignorance is also a major culprit. Many people don’t even realize when they’re suffering from mental illnesses and can’t recognize symptoms that need treatment.
According to Program Director Mary Wahome, some community members are still of the belief that mental health isn’t an illness. It is one of The Reason to Hope’s biggest goals to raise awareness and recognition of mental health signs so that proper treatment can be effectively administered.
Many individuals tend to lose their sense of self and self-esteem, and without a supportive family or community, they may become lost forever.
Reason to Hope’s comprehensive program aims to empower suffering individuals and enlighten the community to promote a healing and positive rehabilitative environment, rather than isolation. They provide education to institutions in the hope that the community as a whole can understand and learn about the proper ways to promote recovery by instilling a sense of belonging in isolated people.
Reason to Hope works with families in the following ways:
- Maximizing the strengths of each individual member
- Teaching families the requisite skills needed to meet challenges and cater to family members in need of assistance
- Promoting family harmony and assurance that they aren’t alone
- Assisting families in maintaining unique values and staying connected
- Understand how to resolves problems that may arise in the future
They also offer a variety of additional services for those with mental health needs:
- Monthly support group meetings to promote healing and provide training in a supportive environment for those suffering as well as their caregivers
- Training: Workshops for a variety of institutions
- Advocacy: Gathering information from a variety of sources to raise awareness of accessibility to mental health support
- Counseling: For individuals and families
- Clinics: Provides diagnosis, medication when needed, as well as workshops and training sessions for individuals in rehabilitation
Something for Everyone
Reason to Hope offers other programs and education for a wide variety of people outside the direct scope of mental health. These programs promote efficiency without a loss of important social elements like health and family.
Corporations can benefit from a program that is targeted at improving worker performance without adding any undue stress that could affect their activity. The program focuses on promoting an ideal balance between work and health.
For churches and religious institutions, the program focuses on the synergy between prayer, counseling, and managing stress. Reason to Hope helps them develop and provide coping mechanisms to deal with problematic and detrimental behavior.
The Ongoing Campaign
The organization’s efforts have resulted in inspiring results, having worked with 10,000 families and developing 450 grassroot level projects.
They have organized many walks in Nairobi and strive to change mental health policies to provide wider and more affordable coverage to patients.
The Reason to Hope receives its funding through members and other external supporters, but they need your help to continue expanding their efforts to raise awareness on mental health issues.
Your support will help the organization continue to work with the community and educate them and those that are directly affected as well.
It will take a lot of collective work to continue the fight against mental health, but with each contribution we take one step closer to visualizing and implementing the changes that can save countless lives.