Melanie Blake will give a talk titled 'Speaking from the heart - building mental health provision in Kenya from the bottom up'. The talk will focus on Melanie's Kamili Organisation which she set up in 2009, to take over two mental health clinics running in low income areas of Nairobi, including one slum area.
These private clinics had failed to be integrated into the government primary health care system and were due to close despite offering a much needed service for the local community. Since 2009 Kamili has grown and become one of the main providers of mental health care in Kenya. A number of nurses have been trained each year and are integrating mental health care provision into existing health clinics throughout the country.
Melanie’s mission through Kamili is to provide those suffering from mental health illnesses in Kenya equal access to services and to affordable care in order to improve their quality of life.
Melanie’s lifelong passion for, and understanding of, Kenya and her commitment to improving mental health wherever she is, have combined to become a force for extraordinary good in Kenya. Her tenacity has created an organisation that has the structure and momentum to be self-sustaining. Her patience when dealing with authorities who have had different priorities has enabled her to build a service that is integrated into Kenya’s Health delivery model, and is welcomed by those same authorities as a partnership. Her creative problem solving is a masterclass in getting things done, and in providing holistic solutions to immense and intractable problems. These things have never been achieved before and as result, 7,700 (and growing) patients and their extended families are getting the support and therapies they need to manage their mental health issues.
In the 2017 New Year’s Honours, Melanie was appointed MBE for services to mental health in Kenya.
This talk is open to the public and all are welcome.
Please click here to register.