Fighting Mental Health Stigma in Kenya
"I started my work based on my personal experience as a rape survivor living with a dual diagnosis of epilepsy and bipolar." - Sitawa
Sitawa Wafula is bringing discussions of mental health to the forefront in Africa. After blogging about her own experience struggling with mental health, she won a Google Africa competition for her work fighting mental health stigma across East Africa. She used the $25,000 prize to start the first free mental health support line in Kenya, My Mind My Funk.
Why is the work you do for mental health important?
Mental health issues are slowing down and sometimes robbing society of powerful souls. A lot of people are going through things they don't know how to handle and need to be constantly reminded that they are not alone, that they are enough, that it is not a death sentence and they need to see it all in action which is what my work embodies.
How did you start this work?
I started my work based on my personal experience as a rape survivor living with a dual diagnosis of epilepsy and bipolar and finding myself in a space where information and support were not easily available. So I started providing information and creating support systems.
What is your approach to self-care?
A people-centered approach that puts the person before the illness and considers the environment one is at the time. I am all for inclusive therapies and not just medication, outdoors, writing, and art.
Learn more about Sitawa by watching her TED Talk.