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Kimani Mbugua's latest online actions spark concern

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 Kimani Mbugua sparks concern [Courtesy]

The former TV presenter Kimani Mbugua has sparked worry over his recent social media posts, where he appears to be acting out of character.

Kimani, 27, has been open about his struggle with mental illness, and had appealed for help from the public in September- who rallied behind him to help him get back on his feet.

Now, a Wednesday evening Instagram post, followed by several live sessions on the same app and on TikTok indicate that Kimani may be in bad shape. The post and his social media actions this week have prompted multiple worried comments from onlookers, who are also urging his loved ones to find and help him.

On the since deleted post, Kimani speaks gibberish, laughs sarcastically and acts strangely while out on a street.

“Kama ulinitumia pesa, reverse it. What could possibly make you want to go back and be famous, Kimani?” he posed in one of the brief audible moments.

After the post, Kimani picked up the camera again and went live on the platform for the better part of the night.

“People don’t realise that that post, what you saw earlier, was a normal day last year for me. I regret that someone spiked my soda, and I was trying to be clean,” Kimani said on the late-night live Instagram session, as fans continued to ask whether he was okay and others sending words of encouragement.

“Bottom line, I had a bad manic episode, a really bad one,” Kimani added.

“You can start again, we will still be here for you” one follower urged.

“This boy is really struggling, he needs some serious counseling and motivation. I really feel him; I’ve always wanted to see him back to permanent normalcy. I’m really broken seeing this,” wrote another.

While on TikTok, Kimani appeared troubled as he touched on his mental health, revealing that he is depressed and unable to access medication, which he says is expensive.

In a 2022 interview with The Standard, Kimani opened up about his struggles, which saw him go in and out of mental institutions and put his personal life in turmoil.

“First, I was taken to Avenue Hospital in Parklands, then I went to a rehab centre called Bustani. Then Chiromo Lane Medical Centre, a rehab/mental health centre. Eventually, I had to go to Mathari. My parents had done everything they could - they had taken me to the Kenyatta National Hospital and the doctor recommended I go to Mathari,” he said at the time.

“I did not even know where we were, what we were doing there or anything that was happening. It did not occur to me that we were in Mathari - I was not aware of my environment. I thought, this looks like a hospital, but who is sick?”

According to a report by Oasis Kenya, a psychological counselling and training organization, mental health is an issue that can easily go unnoticed or be ignored.

“Many people are not aware that their relatives or friends are deeply depressed and need help.”

The World Health Organization notes in a 2022 report that one of the main challenges facing mental health care in Kenya is poor diagnosis and lack of service provision.

“Access to mental health services is important because it is one of the parts that make a whole individual. We have the physical, which often gets a lot of attention, whether it is illness, hunger, or access to shelter. And we have economic health – education, employment and so on. Then we have spiritual health,” Dr Gladys Mwiti told WHO.

She added: “But mental health is a neglected field, and when you neglect mental health then you neglect the whole person. So, the person walks with a “limp” in life.”

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