Rights of people living with mental illness

Those living with mental illness in Kenya are protected by the Mental Health Act of 1989.

The clients have a right to be treated with dignity and not be discriminated against.

The Act provides for four modes of admission:

  • Voluntary Admission: The patient himself or herself applies for admission at the hospital.
  • Involuntary Admission: The relatives apply for admission on behalf of the patient
  • Emergency Admission: A police officer above the rank of Inspector may apply for admission on behalf of a person in their custody.
  • Foreigners: An Embassy may apply for admission through the Kenya Board of Mental Health.

Those living with mental illness have a right to own property and have families.