Are we really living or are we ghosts in shells? Let me get a bit in the definition of what a ghost is and see if you can relate. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary : A ghost is a seat of life or intelligence ,2 a disembodied soul ,3  a spirit or a demon this is the part you say Shindwe 4.A faint shadowy trace  and  lastly  a red blood cell that has lost its haemoglobin. Cambridge English dictionary defines a ghost as a mere shadow or semblance; a trace of oneself. Let the bold words linger as you continue reading

I will ask the question again. Are we really living or are we mere shadows, traces of ourselves .More like red blood cells with no haemoglobin. (The oxygen transporter)Do you know what happens when red blood cells do not have haemoglobin? You die slowly, something most of us are currently doing. Mental health: More like what the haemoglobin is to the red blood cell so is mental health to human beings.

Mental health something so important yet very much ignored. It’s ignored in daily interactions with ourselves and people we interact with. Take an example; brushing teeth .I can for sure say most people brush their teeth more than they think of their mental health. And I wonder is it because they know a cavity is too much pain to bear or is it because of lack of awareness of what mental health is , what is should be and the role it play in our lives. In fact what in the world is mental health? Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Source

     According to the Kenya Health policy 2014 -2030 mental health is a key determinant of overall health and socio-economic development. It influences individual and community outcomes such as healthier lifestyles, better physical health, improved recovery from illness, fewer limitations in daily living, higher education attainment, greater productivity, employment and earnings, better relationships with adults and with children, more social cohesion and engagement and improved quality of life. Do you see the role your mental health plays?

Most of us are still alive but barely breathing. Why? Our mental health system has been ignored so many times and now it falling apart. We are so caught up in the turmoil we are scared to reach out for help. Then there is you thinking that it’s your fault and nothing can be done .The sad part is that it has become so normal that we only realise it when we are already drowning yet we should has seen it when it was on the riverbanks. What a sad way to live.  And to make it worse we as a society have pre-conceived notion and baseless facts about mental health .Lack of awareness and stigmatization are our worst enemies

I refuse to live this way and I also refuse for you to live this way.  Ghost in a shell. Please, this life was given to you to live to the fullest. And for you to do that your mental health has to be in order and in check.  This can only be done by mindful-living. Just the same way breathing is a conscious effort so should you be about your mental health. How am I feeling today? Am I getting enough rest? Do I need a break? Do I need to talk to a friend? What am I feeling? Where can I get help? What is this am feeling? What am I thinking? Is this good for my mental health? Etc.

As I conclude I want to affirm that, the fault is not yours to bear, there is nothing wrong with you and you are not alone. Just as the body uses pain to communicate a system malfunction so does the brain use certain gestures to show a system malfunction. The question is…..  Are you listening or would you rather live life as a mere version of yourself. ghost in a shell.

Sending love your way                        


                                                                                                          KIOO CHA JAMMI

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