Education About Mental Health and Illness: Innovative Approach for the Kenyan Context

  • David M. NdeteiEmail author
  • Christine W. Musyimi
  • Ruth W. Ruhara
  • Abednego M. Musau
  • Victoria N. Mutiso
Living reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)


Over the years, there has been growing evidence on the disheartening impact of mental health in developed and developing countries. However, ongoing efforts towards improving current systems, practices, and structures towards addressing this impasse are not sufficient to effectively address the ever growing mental health treatment gap.

Continued lack of adequate budgetary support for mental health, instability in mental health governance, dismal interest in psychiatry as a career amongst students and emerging health workers, limited efforts in capacity building the existing mental health workforce, continuous lack of priority for mental health among development partners and anthropological dissonance about the role of informal and formal mental health systems especially in developing countries have derailed any push towards adequate delivery of universal mental health.

Recent advancement towards integration of mental health services with existing primary health care models has had significant impact in addressing the mental health treatment gap, especially in developing countries, which consequently illuminated the huge influence of informal mental health service providers and indirect users of psychiatry on mental health service delivery; actors who had carved out a niche in addressing the treatment gap prior to this integration.

Therefore, there is need to focus on enhancing mental health literacy for all stakeholders in mental health for effective service provision. This chapter delves into the importance and subsequent impact of education on mental health and illness for all actors on mental health and illness including consumers of mental health services, the family unit, and formal and informal mental health care systems.


Mental health Education Consumers of mental health Family unit Formal systems Informal systems Stakeholders 

List of Abbreviations


Global burden of disease


Gross domestic product


Low and middle income countries


Millennium development goals


Mental, neurological, and substance use disorders


Ministry of Health


Noncommunicable diseases


Nongovernmental organizations


Post traumatic stress disorder


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Ndetei
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Christine W. Musyimi
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ruth W. Ruhara
    • 1
  • Abednego M. Musau
    • 1
  • Victoria N. Mutiso
    • 1
  1. 1.Africa Mental Health FoundationNairobiKenya
  2. 2.University of NairobiNairobiKenya
  3. 3.Vrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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