13-year-old girl sadly takes own life in Kibra

Her parents said they had gone to wake her up when they stumbled on the body


• Six other suicide incidents were reported in separate places in the country, police said.

• The Ministry of Health to declare mental health a national public health emergency to stop runaway cases of suicide.

Crime scene photo
Image: Courtesy

Police are looking into the suicide death of a 13-year-old girl and student in Standard 6 in their home

According to authorities, the girl is believed to have used a bed sheet to commit suicide on Tuesday. 

When they stumbled upon the body, her parents said they had gone to wake her up. Police are looking into the incident to determine its cause, according to Kilimani police chief Muturi Mbogo. "We are interested in learning what took place to cause the incident."

The incident was the sixth on Tuesday to be reported to the police. There have also been reported suicides in Pangani, Kariene, Buruburu, Malindi, and California.

Among the victims was a woman who committed herself by hanging herself. Police reported that they had identified up to 20 suicide instances in a single week across the nation.

This follows the Ministry of Health's push to make mental health a national public health emergency in order to curb the rising number of suicides.

The ministry suggested that Kenya decriminalize suicide attempts as well. According to the interim director general for health Patrick Amoth, "Although this may not immediately reduce incidences of persons wanting to kill themselves, it may reduce the stigma and encourage them to seek medical treatment instead."

A suicide attempt is a misdemeanor punishable by two years in jail, a fine, or both under Section 226 of the Penal Code.

Authorities attribute the trend of increased suicide cases this year to mental suffering. 2019 saw 499 cases handled by the police, and 2020 saw 575.

There are reports of at least 313 suicides between January and July 2021. According to police reports, males made up the majority of the victims.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these cases are related to unemployment, relationship breakdowns or deaths, academic pressures or failures, legal issues, financial difficulties, bullying, prior suicide attempts, a family history of suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse, depression, and bipolar disorder.

There is a task force on mental health. Due to poor health, psychosocial disability, and early mortality, Kenya has a high burden of mental illness with significant disparities in access to care.

The research team discovered that the majority of Kenyans identify mental health and mental illness with negative narratives, which results in a lack of emphasis on the value and advantages of mental health and well-being.

The team suggested that in order to make mental health a top priority on the socioeconomic and public health agendas, mental illness be designated a national emergency of epidemic proportions.

Counselors, medics, and psychologists advise that you can always reach out for help when experiencing any mental health issues. Call Kenya Red Cross toll-free hotline, 1199 for support.

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