Cases of mental illness have been on the rise in Eldoret according to experts, who are now calling for a sensitisation campaign to curb the surging numbers.
Several stakeholders in the region led by Rupa Fun and Fitness Centre have joined the campaign.
Uasin Gishu county Health Executive Dr Sam Kotut said they are working with several stakeholders to come up with strategies to tackle mental health problems which now affect both young and elderly.
Rupa Fun and Fitness Centre will host more than 300 bodybuilders who will participate in the Mr and Mrs East Africa Bodybuilding competition on mental illness.
Nebert Shiveka, the general manager at the fitness centre said they were partnering with several players including the county and St Luke’s Hospital among others to host the competition which will also be graced by Sports CS Ababu Namwamba.
The bodybuilding event will be held on October 7, 2023, at the Rupa Fun and Fitness Centre.
“Sports and general exercise help to improve one’s mental health and bodybuilding is one of those games that can be used to strengthen the capacity of an individual to deal with mental challenges,” Shiveka said.
He said the competition would bring together bodybuilders from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and other countries.
The winners would be awarded prizes totalling more than Sh2.5 million
Separately the county Department of Health Services hosted officers from the Nawiri programme to discuss how to tackle mental health challenges in the region.
Dr Kotut noted that one of the ways to tackle the mental health problem was by entrenching awareness and support programmes within urban communities.
He said the move would help in addressing the challenge and work towards reducing the disease burden related to mental health.
“We need to establish strong links between mental health institutions, sports facilities and other healthcare facilities across the county where individuals with mental health issues can easily access the necessary rehabilitative and support services they need,” Dr Kotut said.