This is the question we keep asking ourselves and the seed that led to the founding of hatsup. in 2017. One year ago we launched our first one-for-one hats collection; for each purchase we provided psychological help to one person in mental need through our collaboration with War Child. First successes led to joy, but at the same time made use wonder how we could further increase our impact.
Increasing impact on mental health
As such, neuropsychologist and head of the hatsup. foundation Aishah started her search for local mental health organisations in Africa last winter. After online correspondences with several organisations in Kenya, we decided to visit the country ourselves. One mental health organisation particularly impressed us because of the high quality mental health care and the heart they put into their work. This was Kamili Mental Health Organisation. After long and impressive conversations with psychologists, mental health nurses and their patients, we were convinced by the amazing work they do and by the national impact they make.
Mental health in Kenya
According to the WHO, in most countries, less than 2 per cent of health funds are earmarked for mental health. One third of people living with schizophrenia, over half suffering from depression and three quarters with alcohol-use disorders cannot access affordable care.
Estimates of the number of sufferers in Kenya are difficult to receive due to the problem of under-reporting. Kenya currently has only one dedicated mental health hospital, based in Mathare, Nairobi and a small number of overstretched units attached to district hospitals. There is limited training available for community nurses to identify, diagnose and treat mentally ill patients in the community.
Kamili currently covers 75% of Kenya and is opening new clinics every year. The mental health nurses of Kamili help 10.000 patients each year.
We are amazed by the work they do and the impact they make on local society. We decided to move our focus from War Child to Kamili mental health organisation. Not because the work War Child does it not sufficient but because we believe we can make a bigger impact working with small local organisations.
Melanie founder of mental health organisation Kamili says:
"Mental health is a very neglected area of healthcare in Kenya. Many people suffer from it without having any support. The collaboration with hatsup. is an amazing way to provide this help on a local level. For every hat you buy we provide mental health to one person in mental distress for a month.Thanks for sharing your smile!"
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