KEWOTA Launches a Campaign to Build a Mental Wellness Center for Teachers

Teachers across the country will stage a national walk on Sunday to raise funds for constructing a wellness center, as reports indicate that tutors’ mental health is deteriorating. 

The Kenya Women Teachers’ Association (KEWOTA) organized the walk, which started on Saturday in the counties and will conclude with a national event at the Ulinzi Sports Complex in Nairobi.

Anne Wang’ombe, the Principal Secretary of the State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action in the Ministry of Gender and Culture, will grace the event, which concludes at Nyayo Stadium.

According to KEWOTA Chief Executive Benta Opande, the walk aims to raise funds for a mental wellness center for teachers in the country.

Follow Teachers Updates Page On Facebook

KEWOTA plans to partner with other organizations to establish this center.

This initiative comes as teachers’ unions express concerns over the escalating mental health crisis among educators, citing poor working conditions, low pay, and personal challenges as significant contributors.

Addressing Mental Wellness Among Educators

Opande emphasized that the center would address mental wellness among educators, noting that data indicates at least one in every four teachers suffers from mental illness and distress. Over the last three years, 100 teachers have committed suicide, according to Opande.

Teachers face a range of mental health issues, including domestic abuse, financial distress, and family problems.

Opande noted that many male teachers resort to drinking as a coping mechanism due to a lack of understanding from their families and institutions.

Currently, KEWOTA is negotiating to acquire a piece of land for the wellness center.

They work with the Nairobi branch of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), which has a land scheme in Joska. The majority of the funds raised from the walk will go towards purchasing this land.

Later this month, the inaugural mental wellness walk will preside over the construction of the wellness center.

Anne Wang’ombe will be present to grace the walk, which will span five counties. It will take place on May 25 in Kiambu County, Machakos, and Kisumu as a prelude to the main walk in Nairobi on May 26.

KEWOTA will use the funds collected from the walk to sponsor severe mental illness cases among educators in existing mental wellness institutions.

Opande underscored the necessity for a dedicated wellness center for teachers, supplementing the Teachers Service Commission’s (TSC) existing one, given that many teachers attribute their problems to their employers and are reluctant to seek help from the current facility.

The TSC Annual Report highlights the mental health crisis.

TSC’s 2021–2022 annual report highlighted the severity of the situation, revealing that one in every four teachers seeking outpatient services suffers from a mental health disorder.

Moses Nthurima, the Acting Secretary General of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers, criticized TSC for failing to provide proper mental medical attention.

He noted that, as of May 7, all hospitals accredited under the TSC medical scheme had stopped providing services to teachers and their dependents.

The collapse of the Sh15 billion medical scheme has left many without access to essential healthcare services.

In Our Other News: Ruto Secures USD 36.15 Million in Education Deals During US Visit

Nthurima lamented that teachers continue to face financial burdens due to the lack of medical coverage. Unpaid bills have led to the detention of some teachers and their dependents in hospitals, thereby intensifying the crisis. 

He cited the case of a Chavakali High School student undergoing treatment at Nairobi West Hospital following a road accident.

The parents of the student have had to organize fundraisers to cover the medical bills, but they are still unable to pay off the accumulated debt.

KEWOTA Launches a Campaign to Build a Mental Wellness Center for Teachers

Leave A Reply