CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
Background of KPA
The Kenya Psychiatric Association is a professional association registered with the Registrar of Societies in 1986 as a non-political, non-religious, and non-proﬁt making organization. The Association’s aims and objectives are:
- To foster positive relationships among the fraternity of psychiatrists.
- To promote the ﬁeld of Psychiatry in Kenya.
- To promote and improve mental health in the community.
- To conduct and co-ordinate mental health-related research and disseminate this information through publications, journals, periodicals, and newsletters.
- To maintain professional and ethical standards in the practice of psychiatry.
- To co-ordinate and liaise with National and International bodies with similar objectives on matters related to mental health.
- To offer expertise and advice on professional matters related to mental health.
- To organize meetings, conferences, seminars, workshops at regional, national, and international levels in promotion and furtherance of the above aims.
- To lobby for funds for the promotion and furtherance of the above aims.
The association over the years has lived to achieve its aims and purposes through tremendous achievements and contributions some of which are listed below:
- Technical contribution to the development of policies and legislation such as the Mental Health Act 1989 and the Kenya Mental Health Policy 2015-2030
- Contributions to scientific research and academic development in psychiatry and mental health in general.
- Sustained partnership and collaboration with local and international institutions in the development of mental health and other health agendas.
- The association has demonstrated transformative leadership in promoting mental health and best practices in psychiatry by supporting the welfare of its members, providing mentorship to trainees, and community engagement and support through corporate social responsibility initiatives.
The strategic positioning of KPA has guided the formulation of this strategic orientation through a critical consideration of its Strengths, Limitations, Opportunities, and Threats (SLOT). KPA envisages generating concrete solutions and new knowledge to overcome these challenges and build internal capacity, benchmark best practices, and ultimately, through these interventions offer practical solutions that best ﬁt Kenyan mental health context and a coherent policy foundation with which to improve sector outcomes.
The niche of KPAis deﬁned by the following features:
- Well-established relationship with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and other government Ministerial, Departmental, and Agencies (MDAs).
- The only association to exclusively focus on mental health (holistic approach) thus unifying all mental health professionals Experience in engaging with multi-sectoral health stakeholders at different levels.
- Diversity of members in terms of constituency, interventions, and levels of impact.
- Joint interventions and networking with well-established institutions and evident past record of promoting health generally, and mental health speciﬁcally.
Nevertheless, KPA’s signiﬁcant contribution and success in advancing mental health have resulted from not just isolated intervention from its members but from continued collaboration with numerous organizations and entities that work from different perspectives to promote inclusion and sustainability in the health sector. The shifts in the National and Global health policy environment call for KPA to respond with realism, imagination, and a readiness to introduce profound changes in the mental health arena.