In a bid to address the issue of mental health among the youth, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s wife Pastor Dorcas Rigathi opened up on her own mental health journey.
Pastor Gachagua opens up about past battle with mental health
Pastor Dorcas spoke about how an attempt to end her life failed to happen as planned
Speaking at the Sikika Youth Fest in Mount Kenya University (MKU) on Friday, June 2, she emphasised on the need for young people, especially young men, to take their wellness seriously
In a candid revelation, she admitted to battling suicidal thoughts, recounting a desperate moment from her past when she attempted to breach the security protocol at a former President Daniel Moi's event, seeking an end to her own life.
"My mother was in distress. I was in university, contemplating suicide. Marriage was the last thing on my mind. During a visit to Kabarnet Gardens, I ran towards President Moi, hoping his security would shoot me dead. Fortunately, the President lent me an ear," she emotionally shared.
Pastor Dorcas, a staunch advocate for the boy child, called upon society to treat young men honorably, emphasizing the need to acknowledge their struggles.
Shedding light on the challenging realities faced by boys growing up in broken homes, Mrs Rigathi attributed their vulnerability to societal pressures and highlighted the alarming rate of mental health issues and substance abuse among them.
"I will continue to speak up for the boy child until the end. As a mother, it is my duty to do so. Society often assumes that men are strong and resilient, neglecting the struggles faced by the boy child.
"Many of them are forced to bear the weight of broken homes, leading to drug addiction and mental health challenges," she passionately expressed.
MKU co-founder, Dr. Jane Nyutu, a counseling psychologist and educationist, also urged the youth to refrain from activities that harm their mental well-being and cautioned against the detrimental effects of comparing oneself to others, particularly through social media and internet influencers.
"We have witnessed countless young Kenyans grappling with mental health issues, often triggered by constant comparison to their peers. Social media, influencers, and the internet, in general, play a significant role in causing this mental imbalance. We implore you to consume these platforms wisely," Dr. Nyutu advised.
Mrs Gachagua also revealed that her husband likes to be called "Riggy G". The nickname was coined by Ivy Chelimo, a law student at Catholic University, during the deputy presidential debate in July 2022.
The nickname quickly caught on and was soon embraced by Mr. Gachagua. He even offered Ms. Chelimo a state job in October 2022, a month after his inauguration.
She said that her husband likes it when people call him Riggy G, and that he dances a lot when he hears that name.
She also revealed that when she wants a favor from her husband, she addresses him as Riggy G.
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