Kenya – Compilation of submissions on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 virus was first detected in Wuhan, China and reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 31st December 2019.1 The virus rapidly spread to other parts of the world, culminating to the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring the outbreak as a ‘pandemic’ on 11th March 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all spheres of life and generating stress throughout the population. The challenges and recommendations presented in this memorandum have been developed by a network of Civil Society Organisations that work on mental health in Kenya,2 convened by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.3 This memorandum examines the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health in the Kenyan context and makes recommendations to ensure that mental health is a critical part of the government’s response to COVID-19.