Soundcity radio presenter Rae Kiragu’s push for mental health is something that comes within. She has lived it and knows the dark corners that depression can push you in life.
The Homerun show host recently opened up on her efforts on the mental health awareness push in Kenya given October is World Mental Awareness Month.
“I don’t just do it in October. I do it every day of the year,” said Kiragu.
“I feel like mental health month is a time to be self-aware. Like I think it’s necessary the conversation becomes an ongoing one. I think it’s necessary that people be as authentic as they can to their own realities and not try to escape or avoid them.
“I think now that it’s mental month, it’s important to check on your family and friends regarding their mental health and let them know you are a safe space they can come to.”
The World Mental Health Month aims to address mental health issues in an empathetic way, with a unifying voice, helping everyone to feel hopeful by empowering everyone to take action and to create lasting change.
In 2020 at the height of the pandemic, Rae’s life, like so many others, started falling apart. But what she regrets most is failing to open up on the issue and seeking help as she drowned.
“A lot of things went wrong in my life during the pandemic,” she said.
“I left a very high-profile job. I ended a very long-term relationship. And I was all there trying to look strong and all. That’s when I started therapy even though I was skeptical. And that’s when I realized that I wasn’t alone. It really made my life easier and it changed my life. The way it helped me, that’s when I decided to spread the word and also help someone else.”
She’s now part of an organization called Big Girls Can Do It which comprises of her friends and other players in the entertainment industry and several agencies that help her push mental awareness.
Being a mother of one, has she already started the mental health conversations with her young daughter?
“Of course I have,” said Rae.
“I feel like we are the generation that has made it very cool to talk about such things. We might it cool to say ‘I have a therapists’ and so it’s only fair we continue with this tradition by being self-aware even with our kids.”
“So I normally encourage her to talk about her feelings. If she overreacts or gets angry, I sit down with her and honestly ask why she did that and try to get to the source of why and make her understand the reason why it’s wrong.”