You see them all the time. Both young and old, idling the hours away. They do nothing in particular, but sit around in groups. They talk about nothing and everything. You get a feeling that they are tight with one another. Their sense of unity is amazing and almost enviable. But all for the wrong reasons.
I have seen them in the estates, around bus stops too. Groups of young and not so young sitting around taking alcohol and God knows what else. The constant supply of cheap liquor serves to ensure that all of them are intoxicated. It does not help that one can walk into a supermarket or cheap liquor joint and purchase a bottle of the stuff. Anything to keep them high will work even if it helps damage the liver as well.
These are our brothers, our fathers and sons. Maybe daughters as well.
It makes me wonder what goes on in the mind of these people. How, do you throw your life away like that? While I realize that for some it is a sickness, i also believe that for most it is an acquired habit. To escape reality perhaps? Yes the economy is bad, there are no jobs, family life is stressful enough. But there must be another way of dealing with these issues. Someone needs to believe in these people enough to offer help and alternative ways of coping with issues in their lives. That kind of backup is what we need. A place where one can walk in, pour out stuff going on in their life and get direction on ways to deal with it. I support Dr njenga when he said that there is need for counselling especially in the police force. He knows the extent that a human mind can cope especially with trauma. And looking around, there is enough of that. And evidently not just in the police force. It is just about everywhere.
Given, most people face one issue or another. But some do not have the coping mechanism needed to deal with every day pressure. Be it work related, family or else. And these are the people who need help so that they can learn to move on even when life deals them lemons. And it will. It calls for those who deal with such issues to diversify. Maybe come down to the level of that ordinary man/woman who is not able to cope with the loss of a job or the death of a spouse. And seeks solace in alcohol. As it is we are not taking mental health seriously enough. Depression sounds so ordinary but unmanaged could lead to more dire issues. The breakdown of the African set up where by an issue faced by one individual was considered a community responsibility is showing face. And so there is need to supplement that in this modern life where we are too busy for one another and the most we can offer is facebook chat and endless tweets. No personal touch. It is therapy in itself to offload excess baggage to a willing listener, even more consoling when there is that personal touch. Even pastors are overwhelmed.
And so the need for action is real. Whether the Government is involved or not. Maybe those who understand the magnitude of the problem need to take action. Dr Frank njenga sounded the alarm. And the manifestations of that alarm are now with us. Facing us straight in the face. Daring us to make a change.