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Counsellors, psychologists needed

Some health workers are being forced to offer psychological services for which they are not trained, mental health experts said yesterday. 

Mr Moffat Kago (far left), of the Kenya Counselling and Psychological Association (KCPA), yesterday said there was need to employ counsellors, especially at the community level, to offer primary care for those with mental challenges.

Kago, who is a psychologist, was accompanied by Mr Kimani Githongo, a counsellor and Evelyn Ogendo, a counseling psychologist. 

They lamented that the country lacks enough personnel and facilities to manage increasing numbers of patients. They said the outbreak of coronavirus has worsened the situation.

“Without counsellors and psychologists actively involved in the intervention strategies, we are going to overburden the already overwhelmed medical personnel. Yet there is a serious reduction in the numbers of health care workers, especially in the Government facilities,” said Kago who read a statement on their behalf.

He added: “Kenya does not have any counsellors and psychologists in government facilities, even in an institution such as Mathari Mental Hospital. Clinical officers and nurses who work there lacked training in psychological counselling.

“The success of any rehabilitation or management of a mental or addiction case heavily relies on adherence to treatment regimes, aftercare services and family support. These are purely the domains of counsellors and psychologists.”

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