With the introduction of mental health program in Karemenu and Mbirithi areas by Caritas Nyeri mental health program two groups were formed and registered with the ministry of social services to advocate for the rights of people with mental illness and epilepsy.
These groups were Karemenu mental health group and Mbirithi mental health group. Awareness was done to the two communities on mental health and many people joined the groups. There has been a lot of change from the communities in the way the address the issues of mentally ill people.
The level of stigma subjected to people suffering from mental illness has reduced in a big way as communities now understand that mental illness can be treated like any other illness.
With the formation of the two groups there have been a lot of benefits experienced from this. One of the major benefits is groups liaising with the health facility in addressing psychotropic drugs shortage.
Due to the shortage of free psychotropic drugs used by the mentally ill people from the government hospitals it became expensive to buy these drugs when bought on individual level.
It is as a result of this that the two groups merged, liaised with Karemenu health center and decided to be contributing some money to buy psychotropic drugs in lump sum.
The major benefits of this that most people with mental illness were able to access the psychotropic drugs freely saving them the agony of traveling for long distances to the county hospitals, transport used to travel to the hospitals was also reduced and thus saving time and energy.
Cases of relapsing reduced as a result availability of the psychotropic drugs.Other benefits experienced by the two groups are the caregivers were able understand the mentally ill people and give then the necessary support.
Another benefit is some of the people with mental illness were able to start their own income generating projects a case in point is where one member suffering from epilepsy succeeded in becoming a veterinary after properly using the psychotropic drugs.
Life has improved for the best for the two communities with the introduction of the mental health project in these areas.