Kuppet Uasin Gishu branch executive secretary Elijah Maiyo at a past event.

Concerns over Rising Cases of Alcoholism, Mental Illness among Teachers in Uasin Gishu

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has expressed concerns over rising cases of depression and alcoholism among teachers in Uasin Gishu.

Kuppet Uasin Gishu branch Executive Secretary Elijah Maiyo says a number of teachers have ended up failing to show up in schools while others have died due to alcoholism.

The issue, Maiyo notes, has also contributed to the poor performance of the teachers.

But in a bid to address the issue, Kuppet has now engaged professional counselors to help affected teachers – especially on alcoholism.

“We have engaged physiological counselor who has come up with a way the affected teachers can be helped. So far three teachers are involved in this program,” says the Uasin Gishu Kuppet Executive Secretary.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) had already identified alcoholism among teachers as a disease – and is already facilitating a medical approach to helping those affected. It also has a wellness unit that helped teachers affected by among others chronic diseases.

“Some of the teachers fear talking to their loved ones and the best way to help them is for family members and colleagues to be close to them as possible,” notes Maiyo.

Mental Illness

A number of teachers and senior education officials have also been affected by depression and mental illness, Maiyo notes.

The issue has affected at least four headteachers, some of who have requested to go on early retirement.

Because of depression, one teacher in the county boarded a matatu, only to find himself in Nakuru, several kilometers from his home yet he had no prior plans to travel that far,” the Kuppet official narrated.

He is now calling on all stakeholders to work together with the union so as to help teachers affected by both alcoholism and depression.

When a teacher goes through stress or alcoholism, if they find out that their colleagues or seniors are talking behind their backs, it’s like trying to ridicule them, and they go into it even deeper,” noted Maiyo.

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