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How to be a good mental health caregiver: Lessons from baba Kimani Mbugua

Here are five key insights from the father of Kimani Mbugua on how to be a good mental health caregiver.

Kimani Mbugua's dad

Caring for someone struggling with a mental condition can be both challenging and rewarding, requiring patience, understanding, and a commitment to effective management.

Kimani Mbugua, a former journalist at Citizen TV, has been facing severe mental health challenges for the past four years.

His condition has been a matter of public concern, as his behaviours on social media have alarmed many of his followers.

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In an interview with Oga Obinna on May 14, Kimani's father explained the caregiving procedures and measures he takes to ensure Kimani's safety.

Here are five key insights from the father of Kimani Mbugua on how to be a good mental health caregiver.

It’s essential to understand the specific mental illness affecting your loved one. Learning about the symptoms, treatments, and management strategies can help you better anticipate their needs, reduce frustrations, and communicate more effectively.

Kimani's father emphasised that being well-informed has been crucial in caring for his son. He has read several books to understand the condition better.

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Encourage your loved one to seek professional help, such as therapy or medication, and stick with their treatment plan.

Accompanying them to appointments can also be beneficial. Kimani's dad has been actively involved in his son's care, taking him to various medical appointments since the onset of his condition.

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Caring for someone with a mental illness can be emotionally and physically draining. It’s important to take care of your health and set boundaries to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Kimani's father admits to feeling overwhelmed at times but emphasised the importance of setting boundaries to manage his wellbeing.

Being a consistent source of love and support is vital. Listen without judgment, offer reassurance, and acknowledge their feelings.

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Let them know they are not alone. Kimani's father has worked to build a trusting relationship with his son, becoming his best friend and a source of comfort during difficult times.

Create a safe and secure environment for your loved one, which might involve removing potential hazards or providing a quiet space where they can feel calm.

Kimani's father has taken significant steps to ensure his son's safety, including moving him into a secure environment closely monitored by family and neighbours, and even moving in with him for added security.

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These practices, as shared by Kimani Mbugua’s father, offer valuable lessons in the compassionate and effective care of those with mental health challenges.

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