Launched in partnership with the AMREF International University, the new academy will cater to capacity building for mental health practitioners in the country.
According to the University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Marion Mutugi, the academy seeks to train and equip health practitioners with knowledge, skills, and attitude that will enable them to be effective in their clinical practice.
Mutugi emphasized the timeliness of the programme for healthcare practitioners in Mental Health.
“We are pleased with this partnership with Chiromo Mental Health Hospital to provide an Advanced Diploma in Applied Mental Health Practice at the Academy of Mental Health Practice,” she said.
“This programme will help equip the practitioners with practical skills required to be more effective when seeing the patients, a move that will help aid with the prevention and advocacy for mental health and by extension help eradicate the stigma surrounding it,” she added.
The criteria for accreditation by the academy will be dependent on peer affirmation to ensure that the standards of quality are maintained.
Chiromo Mental Health Hospital Chairman Dr. Frank Njenga said that for a long time, a gap has existed among trainees post their tertiary education, leaving them unable to effectively handle patients.
“It is for that reason that Chiromo Mental Health Hospital alongside partners like AMREF International University decided to start the Academy for Mental Health Practice to bridge the already existing gap and help bring a difference to the practice”, he said.
A recent survey by the World Health The organization revealed that the COVID 19 pandemic disrupted or completely halted critical mental health services, an area that is already underfunded with governments spending less than 2 percent of their national health budgets on mental health.
Central Bank of Kenya’s Chairman Mohammed Nyaoga lauded the moved by Chiromo Mental Health Hospital to launch the academy saying it would ensure that mental health is given a holistic approach starting at the community level.
“For the Academy of Mental Health to be successful, we must ensure that our aim is to inspire, influence and impact the community around us. Most importantly we must conduct regular audits to ensure that the standards are being maintained”, he added.
According to the founders, the Academy for Mental Health Practice (AMHP) purposes to establish a robust community of practice in mental health care, recognize and uphold high-quality standard of mental health care practitioners.
It also purposes to establish domestic socio-culturally responsive mental practices, reduce stigma on mental illness by increasing awareness and utilization of services, coordinating lobbying and advocacy in mental health, and finally, provide continued professional education in mental health care.
“The future of mental health awareness lies in our ability to be courageous, share our stories, and relay accurate information. Through digital platforms, we can reach as many people as possible, right from the comfort of their homes. I challenge you today to be a mental health champion in every space that you occupy as we journey towards breaking the stigma, and normalizing the conversation on mental health,” said Gathoni Mbugua of Chiromo Mental health hospital.
The Academy for Mental Health Practice will be a partnership run by Chiromo Mental Health Hospital and the Amref International University will provide Advanced Diploma in Applied Mental Health.
The course is set to take one year and the first cohort is set to kick off in January 2021.