As we celebrate the achievements of women the world over, we particularly honour the phenomenal women who have been and continue to be very instrumental in promoting emotional and mental wellness in our society through their work and/or initiatives.
We spoke to six of these women on their views about mental health conditions, the need for people to speak out more when they are facing challenges in life and the role of the society in championing mental wellness.
This is what they had to say:
Wariimi Karingi – Founder, Let’s go mental
It is important for us all to speak about our struggles because speaking up takes the weight off our shoulders. It opens a door to a fresh perspective on how to solve the problem at hand. Most importantly, speaking up is a great way of taking care of our mental health.
Having a mental health condition is not a failure on anyone’s part. It is an illness like any other and no one chooses to be sick. Taking the bold step of getting help is not always easy. However, this boldness will help you start treatment and propel you back to living a productive and fulfilling life.
Grace Msalame – Media Personality & Host of ‘Unscripted with Grace’ on NTV.
I always encourage those who are going through trying times in life to seek the divine intervention of the ultimate healer – Our Father in heaven. Also, do not fear or run away from therapy as this has helped many people.
Talking through issues is healthy and necessary as it also helps us realize our own toxic traits.
Maureen Gikonyo – Co-founder and Executive Director at Speak Mind Love Foundation
I have always believed that though sharing a problem might not always solve it, it helps you release a burden you are carrying and after one speaks out it always feels a lot more bearable. Opening up helps you release a lot of emotions, thoughts and stress. This ensures that you
are able to readjust and look for possible solutions to whatever is disturbing you.
It is okay not to be okay. It is okay to not have it all figured out. It is okay to go through challenges. It is okay to be imperfect. We all hit rock bottom at one point or the other. What is mostly important is how we bounce back after we hit rock bottom. Seeking help is not weak. It is brave.
Nancy Kabiru – Founder and Lead Psychologist at Hisia Psychology Consultants
It is very important to keep a close circle of friends that you can rely
on so that when you are low, they are able to notice the change and support you.
It is also crucial that we be open to feedback and be able to interpret it positively. This will always ensure that no one stays isolated and minimizes the chances of feeling lonely.
As a society, we need to be very supportive of our brothers and sisters who are battling mental health conditions and direct them to avenues where they can get professional help.
Lauren van Rooyen – Founder of Momboss Kenya
It is true what they say that we are governed by our emotions. The time is now to speak out without fear or judgment. Find the right resources to help you.
Empower yourself with the knowledge that will help you gain the upper hand on your mental health. The power really is in your hands. Don’t be afraid to speak out. You might just be surprised to see how many other people around you suffer with the same or similar struggles. Support groups are fantastic resources and a safe space to talk about your feelings.
Don’t delay. Take charge. When you gain control and clarity over your emotions and mental health, you will begin living the best version of your life.
Immaculate Karanja – Co-Founder and Director at Speak Mind Love Foundation Kenya
Many of us are going through a lot at our workplaces, in our families, and in our relationships due to societal pressures and expectations, but we want it to appear as though everything is okay when it really isn’t. This largely affects how we connect with and support each other.
Most of the relationships we have are inauthentic. We put on brave faces and want the outside world to see like they have it all together, forgetting that “no one really has it all together”. We have to remember that we are human at the end of the day and “it is okay not to be okay.”
We should reach out more, be authentic, and share our struggles when we are going through rough times because, that way, we shall be able to support each other.
The society has a big role to play in getting rid of the stigma associated with mental health conditions. Perceptions such as ‘talking out when going through issues is a sign of weakness’ or ‘mwanaume ni kukaa ngumu’ should be discouraged as they make many people avoid seeking help so as not to be considered weak.
Hisia Psychology Consultants is a therapist-run organisation that provides holistic psychological solutions for businesses, individuals, couples, families and groups.
To speak to us, kindly call +254 745 562 108 or fill in your contact details in the form below. We shall contact you as soon as possible.