The alarmingly increasing cases of suicide reported in Kirinyaga has occasioned Governor Anne Waiguru to roll out mental health programmes in all medical facilities in the county.

While launching the programme, Waiguru noted that mental health had become a huge problem in Kirinyaga County and urgent measures needed to be taken to contain the cases.

The governor singled out depression due to financial challenges and family pressures as the leading causes of suicide, especially among men in Kirinyaga County.

She was speaking in Mwea constituency, where she revealed that the mental health programme will entail training before the deployment of counsellors to all health facilities.

“The counsellors will provide guidance, support, and advice to individuals, couples, families, or groups facing personal, social, or psychological issues,” said Waiguru during the launch.

While calling for more focus on dealing with mental health challenges, Waiguru called on Kirinyaga residents to seek better ways to deal with the pressures caused by life situations.

“I want to ask youth, especially young men to speak out when you have an issue, lets join social groups, and engage in sports activities. They help you relieve the pressures and get guidance,” she added.

World Health Organisation (WHO) attributes most cases of suicide are attributed to joblessness, academic failures or pressures, legal challenges, financial difficulties, bullying, alcoholism and substance abuse, as well as depression and bipolar disorder.

WHO has also rated suicide as among the top 20 leading causes of death worldwide with Kenya being ranked position 114 out of the 175 countries with the highest suicide cases.