Psychologists raise concern over rising suicide cases among teachers

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 22 May, 2022 12:48 | 2 mins read
Rose Kiiru (center), the chair person of Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET) in Kiambu County with members during a mental wellness awareness occasion at Kirangari Secondary School PHOTO/Oliver Musembi

Psychologists are concerned over rising cases of suicide among teachers as a result of mental illnesses.

In this regard, the government has been asked to direct more resources towards mental health care for tutors as well as learners, particularly in post-primary institutions in a bid to check the menace.

The message was passed during a mental wellness awareness event for post-primary teachers at Kirangari Secondary School in Kiambu County during which the tutors underwent psychological tests and counselling sessions.

A teacher undergoing a medical checkup during the mental wellness awareness occasion at Kirangari Secondary School in Kiambu County.

At the occasion organized by Kenya Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET), AON Minet Insurance, Chiromo Hospital Group and Beta Care Hospital, psychologists led by George Kagurani noted that, unlike the police service, many suicide cases among teachers went unreported hence the need for more awareness forums.

"We have established that post-primary teachers tend to suffer mental health illnesses because of the huge workload and resultant burnout, " Kagurani said.

Another mental health professional Grace Gachanja from Chiromo Hospital Group and Christine Gachigi of Minet Insurance emphasized the essence of breaking the stigma of mental health in the society as one way of tackling it.

Kiambu County KUPPET chairperson Rose Kiiru said many suicide cases among her members have been reported and her office jointly with the Ministry of Education, has established centres to address the matter, noting that both tutors and learners go through mental issues leading to depression and suicide.

"In fact, many of our members are not aware they are mentally ill or are afraid to come forth for help, hence the need to break the stigma associated with the ailment and that is why KUPPET is teaming up with the Ministry regarding this issue," Ms Kiiru said.

She added that mental sickness for teachers and learners can be prevented if the necessary interventions are carried out early enough.