In the recent years, efforts to end the stigma on persons with mental health conditions and to prioritize mental health have gained ground, especially in our country Kenya and around the globe. This has resulted in the shift from a traditional approach to a more institutionalized and scientific approach. However, the move from institutionalized care to more community based care has also shed some more light on the challenges faced by those providing care and support to person affected by mental health conditions.
As we work to forepart the rights and needs of people living with mental conditions, it is also vital that we prioritize the caregivers who also face burn out and fatigue when providing care. In an effort to provide the best possible care, they often sacrifice their needs and resources to ensure that their family member or friend is supported in the best way.
So how can we be more supportive of our caregivers? Some of the initiatives that can aid caregivers with psycho social support include; the formation of care givers support groups – Peer based forms of support – which have been proven to alleviate the isolation and stigma that many caregiver may feel. Most caregiver find it difficult to share about their loved one’s mental condition and what it takes to care for them, they can benefit highly from other caregivers who have similar experiences.
To be able to cab the stigma from all angles it is imperative that we don’t tire from promoting mental health awareness in our communities and countries at large. Care also takes the form of providing individual counselling sessions, family therapy sessions, psycho education and knowledge sessions , capacity building and invitations to mental health events, conferences and talks.
It is also necessary that during this period the caregiver takes time off for self care. Self care is a holistic approach of taking care of the emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological of oneself . This is done by engaging in activities that nourish and replenish these areas of a caregivers well being.
Chiromo Hospital group is a great example of an institution that is at the fore front of providing psycho social support to the caregivers of people affected and living with mental health conditions. For more information regarding this kindly contact us on our platforms.
By Wendy Hawi
Chiromo Hospital Group