My name is Dr Liz Wangari Gichimu, a clinical psychologist based in Kenya. I have been a mental health practitioner for the past 10+ years with a kin interest in personal development. In the course of my studies and practice, I came to the realization that most of the mental health issues were conjoined to our historical experience with Colonialism and modern day neo-colonialism. However much of my socialization and education, which I hypothesize is similar to a majority of Kenyans, does/did not adequately equip one with the mental bandwidth or tools to draw from our history to shape our everyday life and subsequently our future, as most of it centers other narratives other than our struggles. History, as the great Psychologist Amos Wilson said, is now. If you do not have a grasp of where you have come from, you are bound to engage in behaviors and activities that are not in your best interest. History gives you not just an anchor with regards to identity but also coping mechanisms as well as an inoculation by filtering out for you what are helpful as well as unhelpful strategies in navigating life.
This blog therefore presents a space to share my thoughts on mental health in the context of our unique experience with Colonization as well as emerging issues in the current globalization space. It’ also aims to provoke self reflection, beginning with an identity as a Kenyan, and what is referred to as African and how that impacts on one’s mental health.
I welcome those interested to journey with me, on this sojourn that our great ancestors began, and on whose shoulders we stand.
Thayù (Kikuyu word for Peace)
P.S I am an advocate for reaching out for help and assistance with regards to mental health. Please do not substitute professional help for something that cannot be backed by evidence. Question any claims and, there is no substitute for due diligence with regards to a professional you seek to engage.