Ksh 100m partnership to make mental health screenings and services accessible to thousands of young Kenyans

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Musician Elton John AIDS Foundation gives a grant of more than Ksh 100 million to Triggerise associated clinics in Mombasa, Kenya. PHOTO/EJAF

By HEALTH CORRESPONDENT

Musician Elton John AIDS Foundation has given a Ksh 100 million ($1 million) grant to Triggerise a data-driven health and wellness services provider to empower young people in Kenya to take control of their mental and physical health.

A press release said the $1 million grant will ensure all Triggerise associated clinics in Mombasa, Kenya provide mental health screening and services, ranging from individual and group counselling to trauma-based care, over the next three years.

“We are honoured to partner on this important initiative with Elton John AIDS Foundation,” Mr Richard Matikanya, Chief Operating Officer of Triggerise, said.

Mr Matikanya said the timing of the investment is particularly exciting, as the growing mental health burden among young people in their diversity – particularly those living with HIV – has largely been overlooked.

He said the partnership will allow Triggerise to contribute to the evidence base on how to ensure that young people have access to mental health services that respond to their needs on their terms.

Ms Anne Aslett, Chief Executive Officer of Elton John AIDS Foundation, said their organization is very excited to have the opportunity to partner with the innovative team at Triggerise to expand its existing programme for young people to include services to support their mental health.

“We know that mental health and physical health are syndemic and therefore critical to address simultaneously,” Ms Aslett said.

Grant to empower young people in Kenya to take control of their mental and physical health. PHOTO/EJAF

Dr. Lindsay Hayden, who leads the young people portfolio at Elton John AIDS Foundation said Triggerise’s easy-to-use youth centric platform has the potential to reach underserved, and often discriminated against young people, many of whom are LGBTQ+.

“We’re eager to empower them with the information, support and services they need to live holistically healthy lives,” Dr. Hayden said.

Elton John AIDS Foundation said their crucial mental health offerings will be fully integrated with Triggerise’s pre-existing sexual and reproductive health services (SRH) for young people between the ages of 15 and 24.

The partnership is also ensuring pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and antiretroviral therapy (ART) services are a part of Triggerise’s established offerings in Mombasa, as seamless access to SRH is crucial for this age group.

Triggerise will, for the first time, work across both its existing private sector network of clinics and expand its platform coverage to include public sector clinics providing HIV services, as it is essential to support young people who test positive for HIV throughout their care journey.

They will then be enrolled onto Triggerise’s mobile-powered platform, connecting them to appropriate services at no cost. The platform will anonymously track their HIV care journey with the goal of keeping them on treatment and accessing services.

The Triggerise platform also allows for youth feedback on service experience so improvements can be made to meet young people’s ever-evolving needs.

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