ESSENTIAL MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY CONTACTS IN KENYA: A LIFELINE FOR IMMEDIATE HELP

Nyongesa Sande
4 min readMay 11, 2024

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that approximately 700,000 people die by suicide each year, highlighting a significant global health issue. In Kenya, a lower-middle-income country, the suicide mortality rate is notably high, with statistics from the World Bank indicating about 6 suicides per 100,000 people. This alarming rate is part of a broader trend seen in similar economies, which collectively bear 77% of the global suicide burden. Mental Health Emergency Contacts

Addressing the Suicide Crisis in Kenya: Prevention and Support — The Importance of Prevention

Prevention is recognized by the WHO as a crucial approach to reducing the suicide rate. In Kenya, the rise in suicide cases has prompted various stakeholders to intensify their efforts in offering support and intervention services aimed at those at risk. Implementing effective prevention strategies can significantly reduce the incidence of suicide. These strategies include:

  • Increasing public awareness about mental health and suicide.
  • Reducing stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues.
  • Providing training for healthcare professionals to recognize and treat mental health disorders effectively.
  • Enhancing surveillance and coordination among mental health services to ensure timely and effective intervention.

Mental health crises require prompt and compassionate support. In Kenya, several organizations and hotlines are dedicated to providing immediate assistance to individuals facing mental health challenges. This article outlines crucial contacts that can be lifesaving in times of need.

Here is a List of Mental Health Emergency Contacts in Kenya

Befrienders Kenya

Contact: 0722 178 177
Befrienders Kenya offers emotional support to those who are in distress or at risk of suicide. They are known for their confidentiality and understanding, providing a safe space for people to express their feelings and thoughts without judgment.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Kenya (CBT-Kenya)

One can reach out to CBT-Kenya on +254 739 935 333 or +254 756 454 585.

Based in Nairobi, CBT Kenya is a psychotherapy center that offers counseling and therapy support to people dealing with mental health that manifest as anxiety, depression, insomnia, anger, and substance abuse. The center’s goal is to empower people to be in control of their lives by achieving mental health.

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As part of its suicide prevention awareness activities, CBT-Kenya shares critical information and spreads hope to people affected by suicide. With this initiative, the center hopes that all members of the society have what it takes to discuss suicide and seek help when necessary.

Chiromo Hospital Group

Contact: 0800 220 000
As a leading mental health service provider, Chiromo Hospital Group offers crisis intervention and comprehensive mental health services. Their hotline is staffed with trained professionals ready to assist with psychiatric emergencies.

Kenya Red Cross

Contact: 1199
Known for its wide range of humanitarian services, the Kenya Red Cross also provides emergency assistance for mental health crises. They can quickly direct callers to the nearest medical help or provide advice on handling immediate mental health concerns.

Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation

Contact: 0800 723 253 / 0800 723 253.
This foundation works to improve the standards of emergency medical care. Their hotline supports not only physical emergencies but also urgent mental health issues, ensuring timely medical response.

Niskize

Contact: 0900 620 800
Niskize is a counseling service that operates a 24-hour call center. It caters to individuals seeking help with emotional distress, providing support through trained counselors who understand the complexities of mental health.

Kenya Police

Contacts: 911 / 999 / 112
In addition to maintaining law and order, the Kenya Police are equipped to respond to mental health emergencies. They can assist in securing immediate safety and transporting individuals to medical facilities if needed.

Oasis Africa

Oasis Africa can be reached on 254 725 366 614 and +254 (0) 110 862 23.

Founded in 1990 by Dr. Gladys Mwiti and Dr. Gershon Mwiti, Oasis Africa identifies as a “professional indigenous psychological counseling and training organization.” The Nairobi-based entity aims at among other things, to bring healing to many hurting communities in the world.

Among the services offered by the 30-year-old organization, include mental health awareness, stress management, professional counseling and psychotherapy, personal development, among others.

Conclusion

Having access to mental health emergency contacts is vital for ensuring that individuals receive the help they need promptly. Whether it’s a crisis involving potential harm or an urgent need for emotional support, these contacts provide a crucial lifeline for many. It’s essential for everyone to keep these numbers accessible and to spread awareness about the available mental health resources in Kenya.

The rise in suicide rates in Kenya calls for a robust response centered on prevention and immediate support. By bolstering the availability of mental health services and promoting societal awareness, Kenya can make significant strides in reducing the prevalence of suicide. The efforts of local organizations, supported by international guidelines and resources, are essential in this fight against a growing suicide crisis.

Adapted From : Nyongesa Sande

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Nyongesa Sande

“Nyongesa Sande is a Kenyan based blog dedicated to providing audiences the information they want in an approachable and entertaining way across the world.