Teachers from 380 School Attend Training on Mental Health
In a bid to create awareness of mental health issues, the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) in Nakuru trained around 400 teachers on mental health, urging them to be champions in their respective institutions.
The teachers came from secondary schools located in Nakuru County in addition to a few primary schools that have Special Units for children with disabilities such as Ngala School for the Deaf. The training comes following a rising number of teachers who commit suicide.
KUPPET called on the government to allocate more resources toward the mental health of teachers especially those in post-primary institutions.
Duncan Gitau, the executive secretary of KUPPET, Nakuru Branch, revealed that cases of mental illnesses are on the rise and are affecting professionals from all sectors in the education fraternity and beyond.
During the training, Gitau urged the well-being champions to look out for any signs of mental illness among their colleagues for swift intervention.
“Extreme cases of depression have not been reported in Nakuru but is important to note that in recent times, there have been four cases of suicide among teachers working in Nyamira County within a week and that can happen here too,” said Gitau.
Gitau said that the well-being champions shall disseminate the information acquired to their respective staffrooms where they shall serve as role models and helpful resources to achieve positivity in the work environment.
The wellness champions are not experts but shall act as strategic poster people leading the way to professional help or other resources.
According to Gitau, mental wellness champions would work in tandem with psychology counsellors in schools to assist students as cases of child suicide rise in areas such as Subukia, Njoro and Molo sub-counties.
Representatives from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), insurance companies, banks and partner hospitals attended the training.
Gitau also praised the National Assembly and TSC for the passing of the Mental Health Bill and insurance companies for starting to provide cover for mental illness treatment.