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Wellbeing and Employability for Youths with Psychosocial Disabilities through Digital Technologies

Project description

A digital solution to support youth with psychosocial disabilities

More than 1 in 10 people worldwide have a mental, neurological and substance (MNS) use disorder, says the World Health Organization. Many MNS-affected individuals in poorer countries have no access to treatment. In Kenya, the problem is compounded by limited information access and rife discrimination, including in the mental healthcare services. This all impacts well-being and life expectancy, particularly for young Kenyans. The EU-funded WAYSIDE project is tackling this issue by supporting a Kenyan government taskforce which declared MNS a public health emergency in 2021. By leveraging digital technologies promoting well-being and employment for young Kenyans, WAYSIDE seeks to develop and pilot a support framework for an inclusive mental health system.


Psychosocial disability (PD) refers to ‘disabilities that arise from barriers to social participation experienced by people who have or who are perceived to have mental conditions or problems’ According to the World Health Organization, mental, neurological and substance use disorders (MNS) account for more than 10% of the global disease burden of disease and are responsible for 1 in 5 years lived with disability. The global loss of productivity on account of depression and anxiety is estimated to cost the global economy US$1 trillion each year.
In low- and middle- income countries, more than 75% of people with MNS receive no treatment at all for their disorder. In Kenya, unmet need for mental health services (MHS) is worse in young persons compared to adults. Further, poverty and adversities are causes and consequences of poor mental health and persons with PD experience discrimination in mental health service, employment, and social life that affect wellbeing and life expectancy. Mental health services in Kenya are sparse and elude most persons with PD. Access to available MHS is limited by lack of information about where and how to access it, and discriminatory delivery of services. In recognition of the dire need for inclusive mental health services, a recent interagency Government of Kenya Taskforce on Mental Health in 2021 declared mental ill-health in Kenyan society as a national public health emergency. Also, strengthening the Mental Health system is the fourth strategic objective of the Kenya Mental Health Action plan 2021-2025.
This project responds to this need (identified by GOK taskforce) and aligns with the WHO’s vision of a world where ‘all people achieve the highest standard of mental health and well-being’. The overall aim of this project is to develop and pilot a support framework for an inclusive mental health system using digital technologies to promote wellbeing, work, and employment for young persons with PD in Kenya.


Net EU contribution
€ 281 970,72
4 Dublin

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Ireland Eastern and Midland Dublin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Partners (1)