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Alcoholism blamed for rise in child trauma, mental illness

Public health principal secretary Mary Muthoni now says alcoholism and drug abuse among parents are contributing to the increase in cases of child trauma leading to mental health issues among children and adolescents.

Muthoni says that the recent survey indicates that 10 to 20 percent of the children population are undergoing mental health ailments.

Speaking while opening Upendo healing center in Murang’a East, the PS noted that alcoholism and drug abuse has led to domestic violence that has either led to the death of the parents or permanent scars that affect the children.

Muthoni said that the ongoing fight against drugs and alcoholism in the country will help a great deal in protecting the children whose trauma at a younger age shapes their lifetime mental wellness.

The PS said that the Ministry of Health is now focusing its energies on mental wellness while promoting prevention mechanisms that address the various diseases before they get to the point of curative stages.

Upendo healing center has been taking care of abandoned and neglected children in society where they get psychological support at a place they can call home.

Dr Eunice Menja, the director said that the mental well-being of children has been overlooked for a long and thus leading to cases where children and adolescents are taking their own lives.

Menja says the government should also take up the responsibility of giving free NHIF services to children in homes so that they can be able to access health services unhindered.

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