Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My friend Peter needs a hook up, can you hook him up? (#HookPeterUp)

 
 
It is past 4am and I am sitting on my carpet with my sketch pad. The last time I sat here all night like this wondering what my next step will be was when I had a bad December, I was really depressed and just wanted out. Today I am here telling God, I am not leaving this floor until we hook Peter and many other Kenyans up. As he stated in his text, I don't want him to have the will power to push another day, I want him to have the basic needs to live his life and live it to the fullest. I know a few people who will read this and think, Sitawa you never learn,do you? Instead of taking your meds and sleeping as much as you can, you are working this late into the night or early morning, but I cannot bring myself to sleep until I have an idea on how to hook Peter up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More than 3 students were injured yesterday at Lang'ata Road Primary, why arent we talking about the rest? #mentalhealth #trauma

 
As an offline activist or a local football supporter or just a Kenyan minding their business when either of the first two were present in the CBD, you must have faced some teargas action and it doesn't matter how hardcore you are, that experience isn't pretty, period...you aren't sure if you are crying, having a running nose or salivating. I speak as one who has faced teargas action both during peaceful demonstrations that police thought needed some teargas spice and on one occasion I went with the best friend for a Gor Mahia match (I pause for you to judge me for both or the latter...PS; Dear ladies, when you go for a demo or a Gor match, leave your heels at home...thank me later)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Twas the Season and I had severe #depression for the holidays, what did you have?




Twas the Season
I had the WORST holiday in holiday history, if they did a tally of the WORST holidays, I'd win hands down...complete with crown, trophy, dummy cheque and photo op. This is not new to me though, so I am not really complaining and if you follow my work (or can pick out my December blog posts), you know I am not that much of a holiday person. During my birthday, when I flew to Dar, I had a Skype interview with Larry Madowo for the Trend and a radio interview with Choice FM, Tanzania as part of my holiday itinery...The more I think about it, I prefer to describe myself as a workaholic who finds fun in her work and doesn't need to break from it to enjoy life, that's separation issues, huh?

(I got to read Americanah and Gone Girl  for the holidays and I so feel like the authors right now as I narrate my holidays, grab a cup of something and some tissues, twas that bad)

It all began on Oct 22nd with a series of events I'd rather keep to myself, after which I went to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November where I got mental health in 4 out of 11 of the critical areas of discussion. I also began feeling sick while there and since everyone has an opinion about everything these days, they  said it is the attitude in Ethiopia or my subconscious reaction to the overwhelming response I got when I spoke at the UN there.
 
I got back home and it kept getting worse until one Friday night when I curled up on my carpet and cried until I had no tears to shed. I wanted out of everything and that was my red flag; I was suicidal.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

YoTM's Opportunity for Young People living with Epilepsy in Nairobi and Kisumu


One of the many publications by YoTM
Good evening beautiful people,

November is #epilepsy awareness month and I have some good news for y'all who would like to learn more about epilepsy and get more hands on experience. My good friends at Youth on theMove (YoTM) who do amazing work with young people living with epilepsy have a full year program which they would like young people (age 18 - 35) to apply for. (those living with epilepsy will be given first priority though). The programs are in Nairobi and Kisumu and will see the young people meet 3 days a week for full year (2015)where they will learn about living with epilepsy and discuss other issues that affect young people esp those living with epilepsy. (How many times have I said epilepsy in this paragraph lol).

Before you apply, make sure you can spare the year, can bring amazing energy to the group and participate in activities and sharing experiences. To apply (and for more info) contact Annie annie@yotmkenya.com and she will guide you on the process. Application deadline is 10th January 2015, the earlier you apply the better.

Also be sure to visit their social media pages to see the awesome work they do;
FB: Youth on the Move and Twitter: @moversKE

Pass the message along to others.

Sending love and light,
Sitawa

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Of high level advocacy, scaling #mentalhealth and disabilities on the regional level


At the Lion of Judah Monument, Addis Ababa - Ethiopia

It has been an interesting weekend for me...at the beginning of last week if you told me i'd be addressing a group of CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) from all over Africa at the UN in Ethiopia, I'd claim it for my wishlist but it happened. On Friday 14th November, a few minutes after 5p, I had the humbling and honorable opportunity to address participants from around 34 African countries at the UNECA - Addis Ababa.
 
The gathering (dubbed #TheAfricaWeWant #Beijing20)'s main agenda was to discuss the position of African CSOs to be presented before African governments who were meeting to review steps made after the Beijing Declaration of 1995. The theme for #Beijing20 is empower women, empower humanity...picture it. I borrowed from that theme and gave the story of my life and how by empowering myself as a woman with mental health info, I have been enable to empower humanity (the constitution of persons living with mental health condition/epilepsy and their families with info and support) through my organization, my mind my funk and our products like the FREE SMS line 22214, counseling services and continuous awareness drives. I was humbled to get a standing ovation from the participants.