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Mindful Kenya, Ministry of Health extend mental health support to flood victims

Mindful Kenya and the Ministry of Health are offering immediate psychological support to those affected by flooding on the dedicated support line, 020-7909590.

An aerial shot of a flooded area in Tana River County shared on November 19, 2023

In a compassionate response to the recent devastating floods in Kenya's coastal region, Mindful Kenya, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health’s Health Promotion Department, has launched an extensive mental health support program.

This initiative aims to aid those grappling with the psychological aftermath of the floods, which have not only claimed lives but also livelihoods, especially among those affected by climate change.

Among the poignant stories emerging from this crisis is that of Fathman Sawen, an 81-year-old local farmer from Bandi Village, Tana River County.

Fathman lost his entire herd of livestock in the floods - his primary source of income and sustenance for his family.

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"I stood there, watching the water sweep away everything I had worked for all my life. I felt helpless," shares a distraught Fathman.

He is one of many facing uncertainty about the future, struggling to envision a way forward after such a loss.

Tragically, the floods have also resulted in the loss of lives, leaving families and communities in mourning. The toll is particularly heavy on the families and colleagues of those who perished while on duty.

To provide support to those like Fathman and the families of the deceased, Mindful Kenya and the Ministry of Health have set up a dedicated support line, available at 020-7909590.

This line offers psychological first aid, counseling, and guidance on coping strategies for those affected by the floods and the broader impacts of climate change.

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"Addressing mental health is crucial in the aftermath of such disasters," states Esther Kathini, head of the Health Promotion Department. "Our teams are working tirelessly to ensure that those affected receive the support they need to navigate this challenging period."

Mercy Mwende, the COO of Mindful Kenya, adds: “Our partnership with the Ministry of Health is more than a response to a crisis; it's a commitment to the long-term mental well-being of our communities. We understand that the scars left by climate change are not just physical but deeply emotional, and our mission is to heal these invisible wounds with compassion and resilience.”

The support program includes on-the-ground counseling services, community workshops, and awareness campaigns on mental health resilience in the face of climate change.

The initiative also emphasises the importance of community solidarity and the role of collective healing in overcoming such natural calamities.

As Kenya confronts the realities of climate change, the combined efforts of Mindful Kenya and the Ministry of Health offer a beacon of hope and support, highlighting the importance of mental health in the journey towards recovery and resilience.

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