Breaking the barriers in mental health

Christine Ombima
Posted March 6, 2021 from Kenya
Breaking barriers in mental health in Kenya
Breaking barriers in mental health in Kenya

International Women’s Day 2021

#Choosetochallenge

As women we are the architects in society, having leadership influence in all our spheres. However, we live in a male dominated society, where women are required to be seen and not to be heard. When you are outspoken, you are branded a feminist, an enemy of progress. For the past five year, I have curved my niche in the mental health space, not only has it been fulfilling but it has helped me break the barriers to #mentalhealthawareness through advocacy. Over time, I have learnt to create my space at the decision table even when I have not been invited. This has seen me participate in shaping mental health policies globally.

I have owned my story and it is no longer a secret, I have seen myself #Glow and #Grow as a person, a mother and a mental health professional. I have succeeded in creating a safe space, where anyone who needs to vent can always approach me to share their story.  By offering a listening ear, lives have been saved, the support I have received is overwhelming. Each day is a learning experience as I get to understand others better.

Having a lived experience of #bipolardisorder has not been a walk in the park. So many times, I have been excluded from opportunities, just because they saw my #mentalcondition before me as a person. For the five years that I have lived with the condition, I have cried buckets and buckets of tears, especially when everything does not seem to work. However, I have come to realize that I just have to own my journey for life to be bearable. The moment I become self-aware that I have to accept me first as I am, that’s total liberation and it sets my soul free for others to love me as I am.

As a leader in my sphere of influence, which is #mentalhealth, each day we have new recruits. There is no need of stigmatizing and discriminating against those with #mentalillness Anyone can join this #mentalhealthclub at any point in their lives. Women with bipolar disorder are creative and highly skilled. Despite the highs and lows, they can take in a lot and if supported create significant change in society.

In this year’s International Women’s Day celebration, I #choosetochallenge by:

Being a #voice to the #voiceless.

 A light in the darkness.

 I choose to wear my crown of thorns with honor.

I choose to stir up the status quo for #genderequality

I choose to rise up against all odds

Ladies with #psychosocial disabilities, I urge you all, to rise up, dress up and show up. Do not let your disability take center stage in your life. Love you, and work on you. Always celebrate you.

#IWD2021 #Ichoosetochallenge #bipolarawareness #Bipolarbrave #Bipolarstrong #mentalhealthmatters

 

                                                  

This story was submitted in response to #HerStoryMakesHistory.

Comments 9

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Nini Mappo
Mar 08
Mar 08

Dear Christine,
I love that video because it's the youth owning space and educating their contemporaries, their elders and youth in such a crucial and overlooked area of mental health. Yes, we need to educate ourselves out of superstition that defeats us and takes away our health and joy. Good on you and your team. Keep wearing your power to empower others. Kudos for making panelist and having that platform to share your knowledge!!

Christine Ombima
Mar 08
Mar 08

Thank you

maeann
Mar 08
Mar 08

Helo Christine,

Thank you for sharing the video as well your being part of it. Mental Health is a common issue right now, but most of us are aware and needs to have a self care. I am proud of you because you are an empowered woman, despite of what you experienced, you choose to break barriers by speaking up and rising up to be a person of influence.

Christine Ombima
Mar 08
Mar 08

Am humbled. It is the best I could do

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 08
Mar 08

Dear Christine
How are you doing. This is a very inspiring write-up and I am encouraged. I love the quote "Being a voice to the voiceless" Keep sharing dear
Love
Veronica Ngum
Cameroon

Christine Ombima
Mar 08
Mar 08

Thank You

Leonida Odongo
Mar 14
Mar 14

Dear Christine,

Thank you for sharing a subject that is considered taboo by many .Looking forward to reading more of your posts and connecting with you .

Best

Leonida

ikirimat
Mar 14
Mar 14

Its interesting and valuable to work with the affected groups, it yields greater results. Keep going sister

Paulina Nayra
Apr 03
Apr 03

Dear Christine,
Your post is very informative and inspiring. It speaks about your confidence, courage and compassion. We need mental health professionals like you during these times. Instead of hindering you, you made your condition a compelling factor to help others with mental health issues. Thank you for sharing gifts and for choosing to be a voice of the voiceless.
Have a great week ahead.
Huggs.