Mental health advocate, Sitawa Wafula, best known for running a Google Award winning blog that provided people in Africa with mental health information and support and for setting up Kenya’s first mental health support line which provided over 11,000 Kenyans with information and linkages to support groups, psychologists and psychiatrists in its first year has switched gears to become an online radio host.
Her previous projects – the blog and support line – have seen her named among the top 50 global social impactors, top 42 African innovators to watch, 40 under 40 women in Kenya and Non Communicable Disease Champion by the Ministry of Health in Kenya. She has also been invited to share her journey and work by TED Talks and at a UN General Assembly Showcase in New York.
Her latest project – a 2 hour weekly radio show dubbed My Mind My Funk Radio (MMMF) Show – is a spin off her Google Award winning blog which she ran for 8 years and used her personal experience – living with a dual diagnosis of epilepsy and bipolar – to bring mental health conversations to the forefront in Africa. After recovering from the dual diagnosis, Sitawa stopped running the blog and used the healing power of storytelling – among other things – that she had experienced to provide a platform for Africans from all walks of life to share their mental health journeys. She points out that mental health isn’t about illness but well being and that the show is all about making mental health conversations, everyday conversations in African homes.
Her guests are a mix of people who are living with mental health conditions, care givers, service providers as well as people who do not fall in any of the above groups but are keen about self care as they go through their day to day life.
The live show airs every Wednesday 11-1p EAT on radioasylum.com. Previous episodes can be gotten from www.thementalhealthacademy.org alongside a list of crisis lines and support groups across the continent.
When she is not working on producing the show, Sitawa can be found at The Sitawa Wafula Mental Health Academy, where she is using her over 8 years experience in self, national and international mental health advocacy to develop the next generation of mental health champions in Africa. Through the academy, Sitawa provides early stage mental health service providers with skills, resources and community so as to build thriving programs that make an impact in the mental health space in Africa. So far, she has worked with 30 champions from 8 African countries, some of whom have already built program that are making impact.