Meet Bravin Yuri, A Mental Health Advocate Supporting Kenyans to deal with Mental Health related challenges
Kenya has been experiencing a rise in mental health related challenges and this has prompted the need to intensify mental health awareness. Today we have a One on one Q and A session with Bravin Yuri who has been advocating for mental health awareness especially on social media and has been able to help many youths who have had challenges with regards to mental health to be able to speak up and share what they are going through.
Q. Who is Bravin Yuri?
Bravin Yuri: Bravin Yuri is many things I can say but basically, I am a Political Scientist, Sociologist, Social media Influencer, Blogger, Activist but above all, I am a Mental Health Advocate
Q: Interesting. About Mental Health. What made you interested in Mental Health?
Bravin Yuri: I have been through a lot when it comes to Mental health. I have been seriously depressed and I never got the Support I needed. I had nobody to talk to and I had to face my own issues on my own. This is something I never wished anyone else would go through so I decided to create a support system that will be able to also Support other people who are undergoing mental health related challenges
Q. What does this Support system entail and what does it do?
Bravin Yuri: I work with a team of pro-bono counselors who have been helping me in handling cases that I get with regards to mental health. My DM is always flooded with cases of people who need help when it comes to Mental health so these specialists are always available to pick up these cases when I forward them to them. I collect a brief overview of the issue from the party involved then share to a WhatsApp group I have that has the counselors/specialists and they decide on who will take up the case. PDO Kenya has also been of great help especially in dealing with some of the cases.
Q. You also have a Twitter space that you discuss issues about mental Health. Can you tell us more about that?
Bravin Yuri: Twitter spaces is one of the best tools Twitter brought and I am very grateful for that. I hold mental health talks on the Twitter spaces and they have really gone a long way in helping so many people. The Twitter Spaces have been kind of a ‘safe space’ where people can share their experiences and be able to help others to also understand that whatever they are going through, they are not alone in it.
Q: How many people have you managed to help if you roughly estimated through the Twitter Spaces?
Bravin Yuri: That’s really hard to tell considering you can’t be able to get feedback from all the people who have been on the Twitter Spaces but all I can say is, many lives have been changed, inspired and motivated via the mental health chats on the Twitter Spaces and many have sent me messages on how the Twitter Spaces have really been of help to them.
Q: When did you start Mental Health advocacy?
Bravin Yuri: It’s been over 4 years right now since I started mental health awareness campaigns
Q: What can you say about mental Health Awareness in Kenya?
Bravin Yuri: At the moment, there are several Voices and forces pushing more on mental health awareness. When I started the awareness on social media, specifically on Twitter, the silence was very loud. Right now, you won’t go a day without coming across a mental health awareness post on twitter.
Q. There has been a rise in cases of depression and suicide among the Youths in Kenya. What is your take on this?
Bravin Yuri: Youths in Kenya face so many challenges which are bound to cause mental health related challenges. Unemployment for example has been one of the biggest challenges that has driven so many youths into depression and some to suicide. Addressing the issue of unemployment will greatly help reduce some of these cases. Gambling also on the other hand has been a challenge since we have so many youths now into gambling and losing even the little money they would have used in other more important things. We now have people committing suicide because they have lost bets. It’s a worrying trend.
Q: If someone wants to get help with regards to Mental health, how can you be reached?
Bravin Yuri: I am very present on social media especially on Twitter. You can reach me on Twitter via DM on @BravinYuri. On Facebook you can also inbox my page Bravin Yuri or you can leave me a WhatsApp messages on +254707884567.
Q: What is your Final remark to everyone who will be reading this?
Bravin Yuri: What I’d like to tell everyone is that we are all going through something. It’s a tough world out here but it’s very okay to ask for Support/help. You don’t have to keep everything to yourself and suffer in silence. Sharing is caring and halfway in solving your problems. For those on social media, don’t be mean to people, body shaming them and Trolling others. It costs nothing to be kind. If you have nothing important to say about someone, just don’t say anything at all.