The mental health story of Virginia and Serah

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Virginia Wanjiru Njuguna is a 54 year old widow, mother of one adult daughter and lives in Wangige, Kiambu County. She was among the first patients enrolled in 2008 at Kamili Organisation. Diagnosed with Bipolar Mood disorder she has lived with the illness for 25 years which caused a rift in her marriage and was divorced by her late husband.

Virginia and Serah

Virginia and how she inspires other

She has engaged in farming mostly pigs and poultry on her small piece of land which she has currently developed to build some rental houses for her monthly income. Virginia has maintained very good compliance over the 10 years and she brings herself for review after every six weeks.

Not long ago, Virginia was a big inspiration to a young girl of 25 years who was enrolled in Kamili for her first review after struggling with abnormal behaviour since the age of five years as reported by her parents.

Serah Wambui Njoroge comes from Kahuho village Kiambu county and her parents, teachers and neighbours always labeled her as a defiant and rebellious child. As a student she dropped from position one to the last within one year and this made her have to sit her national exams twice scoring less than half marks in an attempt to get good grades.

Her mum has also tried to secure her a job twice in a foreign country but Serah is always deported before her first pay. Through psycho-education the mum couldn’t hold back tears after realizing that her only daughter has been struggling with hearing voices, seeing unusual images and delusions since she was a child. Serah was immediately put on treatment and scheduled to start counseling after two weeks. She also met with Virginia while waiting for her appointment on the benches outside our little Kamili clinic and she couldn’t hide her amazement that Virginia has been ill for the same period of her life too and this gave her hope for the future.

Kamili Organisation offers that opportunity for patients to meet, learn and share amongst themselves which is therapeutic in itself. For Serah, this day is her first step in the journey of self-awareness, for Virginia its satisfaction that flows from her such that she can mentor and inspire others.

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