Shamiri Institute, a mental health startup, has bagged US$1mn in funding from the Templeton World Charity Foundation to tackle the scourge of mental health in Kenya and the rest of the African continent.
According to the institute, the funding will enable them to build strategies for promulgating their character-based data-driven interventions to African youth and to scrutinize the long-term health objectives and outcomes of these interventions.
The funds received from Templeton World Charity Foundation will be used to expand Shamiri Institute’s impact across the African continent.
According to the UN, almost 60% of Africa’s population is under the age of 25, making Africa the world’s youngest continent.
And with about 6 – 8% of youth diagnosed with depression, the continent struggles with poor mental health literacy, the stigma around mental health issues, and weak healthcare systems.
“This crisis has informed our work in recent years. We asked ourselves what opportunities exist within the problem, massive as it is,” said Osborn.
“The support from Templeton will help us extend our interventions to other African countries beyond Kenya. And through this process, we also want to actively begin measuring our impact in improving mental wellbeing amongst young people.”
In Kenya, mental health is a growing challenge. According to Shamiri Institute, there’s a very high rate of depression amongst the youth with one out of four people looking for medical care in the country having a mental health condition.
The institute says depression in the country is common and many people depend on alcohol and substances to escape, which further exacerbates the crisis.
And, while the country has not necessarily allocated a budget to tackle the issue, it has set up a mental health task force that is working on a number of reforms to improve the country’s response to the challenge.
According to the UN, almost 60% of Africa’s population is under the age of 25, making Africa the world’s youngest continent. And with about 6 – 8% of youth diagnosed with depression, the continent struggles with poor mental health literacy, the stigma around mental health issues, and weak healthcare systems.
Global mental health crisis accounts for 45% of the burden of disease amongst the youth. And in Africa, with some of the highest youth unemployment rates and the lowest levels of healthcare quality, the crisis is much worse.
What You Need To Know About Shamiri
Founded by Anzisha Prize Fellow Tom Osborn and partner Katherine Venturo-Coberly, Shamiri Institute is using social research data to respond to mental health issues amongst the youth.
The company was set up in 2018 and has been working in Kenya, conceptualizing and implementing strategies to mitigate the crisis amongst the youth with the core objective of creating a better future for this population group.
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