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Article Published In Vol.7 (Sept-Oct-2019)

Contextualizing Psychotic Disorder as a Silent Epidemic from Selected Kenyan Cultural Perspectives

Pages : 610-614, DOI:

Author : Joel Peter Ogutu

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Psychotic disorder is considered as a silent epidemic throughout Kenya. However, the stigma and discrimination attributed to mental disorder has made the illness a hidden issue equated to a silent epidemic. Many households in Kenya with psychotic disorder persons conceal for fear of discrimination and exclusion from their communities. The effect of the silence on psychotic disorder is further compounded by inadequate focus at the policy level. Lack of adequate national level interventions in addressing mental health negates the understanding of the issue in the Kenyan context and the available possibilities for care and support. The social environment in many Kenyan communities does not nurture good mental health. Psychotic disorder a form of mental illness is often viewed with distress, and those who suffer from mental illnesses are mocked. This paper intends to demonstrate how the silence on psychotic disorder continues to hurt many Kenyans. The paper also discusses strategies for contextualizing mental health care approaches in Kenya. These include: intervention and protective factors; strengthening community mental health systems, cognitive-behavior therapy, family support and incorporating more culturally responsive intervention and support base. The negative attitude towards mental illness needs to change to pave way for a healthier society.

Keywords: Cognitive, Therapy, Cultural context, Mental illness and Silent epidemic



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