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Sensitise Staff in Mental Health Facilities To End Human Rights Abuse Of Patients


Sep 9, 2023

I was thrown in dark solitary confinement, whipped, sedated,stripped naked, neglected,verbally abused, and locked up in flea-infested space. If you think I’m referring to how
animals are treated, you’re wrong. This is how I, a human being, was treated in the psychiatric ward of a mental health facility where I was admitted. They denied me a bed
to sleep on, neither did they inform me of my diagnosis. I was made to feel like I am not a human, and unworthy of dignity and respect. Ironically, the place I had gone to seek
care and healing ended up adding to my trauma. My intended “caregivers” became my perpetrators.

This is not an old story, it still happens in mental health care facilities in Kenya today.No one spoke up for me when I was suffering so today while I heal and work as a mental
health advocate,According to the World Health Organisation, people with mental health conditions are among the most stigmatized, abused, and discriminated against, violating their human rights and leading to poor treatment outcomes. This is despite the Constitution of Kenya 2010 guarantees every citizen access to the highest attainable health including mental health.

I have made it my calling to ensure that no one else suffers where they have run to for help. I have stepped up to undergo leadership and campaigning training with Nguvu
Collective and started a petition on change.org to appeal to the cabinet secretary for Health to intervene and ensure sensitisation training for all staff in mental health
facilities on patients rights. This will be in line with what the World health Organization and our Kenyan Constitution uphold
There is an urgent need to ensure sensitisation training of mental health workers on human rights and the rights of people with mental health conditions and involve carers
givers and users of mental health services at all levels of legal and policy development.
If action is not taken, people who need mental health support will choose to endure mental distress without treatment rather than risk facing prejudice and ostracization that comes with accessing mental health services. Untreated mental health problems are a ticking bomb. Therefore, urgent action is needed.As a survivor of this abuse, I want to remind the world that we are human too. We too have people we love, activities we enjoy, and dreams for our lives. We deserve to be
treated with dignity as human beings. Treated fairly, we respond fast and positively to clinical treatment.

John Mwangi,
A change Leader
Nguvu Collective

Petition https://www.change.org/RightsInMentalHealth


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