The cost of saving a life, a psychiatrist at a time

I read somewhere that to be born is to suffer. Life with all its glory can be the most beautiful experience in the simplest ways. The feeling of grass on your feet, how gentle the wind feels on your skin, the peaceful sound of the ocean when the waves crash against each other, the smell of earth when it starts to rain, the skyline at dawn or dusk, the sound of laughter or children playing.

However, it can also be painful and overwhelming. It can feel pointless, hopeless like a series of unfortunate events.

Did you know that human beings by their very nature are suicidal? Every single person has had, or will have a suicidal thought at least once in their lives. Not even the strongest of us are immune. It can be a passing thought that you will not act on, but for a few people, overwhelmed with the sense of melancholy or hopelessness may feel stuck.

Sometimes a little support, or a safe environment for treatment is all that is needed to save a life. In Kenya, there are numerous psychiatric hospitals and clinics at affordable rates.

Read also: Jailed for attempting suicide

Mental health

The Kenyatta National Hospital, the biggest public hospital in the country, has a Mental Health Department that operates every Tuesday and Wednesday morning. They charge Kes1500 per session and recommend a referral letter to book an appointment.

Another option would be Mathari Hospital which specializes in mental health, has a capacity of 700 beds and is located in Nairobi, Mathari area. My efforts to try and call them bore no fruits as both numbers were unavailable.  They charge approximately Kes10,000 for admission but one can pay a smaller amount or free if you are using a NHIF card.

There are also nonprofit organizations like Befrienders Kenya,  who offer free listening and counseling services online or face to face. They willing to give a listening ear with a vision of a society which fewer people die by suicide.

Another is Niskize, located in Nairobi Upperhill who offer restorative psychology, positive psychology, diagnostic assessment and psychometric testing. They open daily from 9am to 5pm and also do not charge for their services

On average, private clinics or psychologists who offer their services can cost you between Kes3000 to Kes20000 per session depending on your budget.

Google has also made it even simpler to find a session near you, all you have to do is type it out and search. You will find helplines and psychiatrists online, some free, some at a fee, and all ready to help save a life.

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