Mental Health Advocacy in Kenya, Africa Research Paper by scribbler

Mental Health Advocacy in Kenya, Africa
An examination of the history of mental health advocacy and the constraints facing the professional practice of psychology in Kenya.
# 153270 | 3,672 words | 11 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on May 12, 2013 in Sociology (Social Work) , Psychology (General)

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The paper begins by addressing the pressures on the African population that lead to a higher need for psychological interventions. The paper looks at the history of rights for the mentally ill prior to the mid-twentieth century and discusses how social scientists influenced the shape of the deinstitutionalization movement and sped the patient's rights movements. The paper looks at the diagnosis of mental illness and the categories of mental disorders for which involuntary treatment is justified and also addresses the complexity of the advocacy approach for social workers. The paper then discusses how the professional practice of psychology in Kenya has been constrained by a number of issues, such as the lack of legislation governing the standards of training in psychology, the lack of a licensing board to regulate professional practice, and irregular funding to maintain the viability of institutions and organizations. The paper concludes that if the discipline and profession of psychology are to serve Kenya more effectively, they must address a number of issues, however, the future of mental health advocacy in Kenya looks optimistic.

Mental Illnesses Are Different
Newly Acquired Rights
Deinstitutionalization and Involuntary Hospitalization for a Mental Illness
Deinstitutionalization and Public Awareness
Barrier and Supports
Policy Models for Successful Advocacy

From the Paper:

"With most physical diseases, doctors diagnose the somatic manifestations of the illness, inform the patient of the prognosis, and recommend a course of treatment. Doctors, as opposed to every other group, have been awarded the right to treat illnesses, prescribe medication, if necessary even cut the body, and generally take control of the patient in an effort to heal him or her. However, with mental illness, several differences are obvious. The first "problem" is that there are no laboratory tests that can assist the doctor in his or her diagnosis (Okatcha, et al 2003). No blood or urine test is available to pronounce the patient mentally ill. Accordingly, there is a great amount of variation in the diagnosis of a mental disorder, with varying reliability between psychiatrists as to what specific illness they are seeing and what to do about it. The second difference between medical and mental illness is that the consumers have been afforded certain rights and protections in dealing with physicians and psychiatrists (Wrenn, 1962).
"It is estimated that there are approximately 3,000 psychologists and professional counselors (with counselors outnumbering psychologists) in Kenya, which has a population of about 30.5 million (Okatcha, et al 2003)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Acuda, S.W. (2003). Mental Health Problems in Kenya today: A review of research. East African Medical Journal, 60, 11-147.
  • Archarya, K. (2001). Poverty and mental health. Multinational Monitor. Retrieved March 15, 2011, from
  • Dhadphale M., Ellison R. H., & Griffin L. (1983). The frequency of psychiatric disorders among patients attending semi-urban and rural general hospital outpatient clinics in Kenya. British Journal of Psychiatry, 142, 379-383.
  • Gichinga, E. M. (2003). Pre-marital counseling: A counseling guide. Makuyu, Kenya: Don Bosco Printing Press.
  • James, S., Chisholm, D., Murthy, R. S., Kumar, K. K., Sekar, K., Saeed, K., et al. (2002). Demand for assess to and use of community mental health care: Lessons from a demonstration project in India and Pakistan. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 48, 163-176.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Mental Health Advocacy in Kenya, Africa (2013, May 12) Retrieved December 08, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Mental Health Advocacy in Kenya, Africa" 12 May 2013. Web. 08 December. 2021. <>