A second-year student at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) has thrown himself from an incomplete five-storey building in Bondo, Siaya County.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, one of Samuel Otieno’s classmates and friend Titus Eyamah explained that the incident took place on Friday morning a few metres from Milai hostel, where he resided.
Otieno, who was pursuing Information and Communication Technology (ICT), did not attend the morning classes, which raised concerns from his friends about his whereabouts.
His body was later recovered next to an incomplete building at 9:30 a.m.
A photo of an incomplete building in Bondo, Siaya County.
Eyamah the Poet
Eyamah said that police officers attached to Bondo police station arrived at the scene minutes later and transported the body to Bondo Hospital.
According to Eyamah, Otieno, who was introverted, appeared stressed following a break-up with his girlfriend. He suspected that Otieno could have been suffering from depression.
“This past week, he appeared heartbroken after he was left by his girlfriend. Aside from that, it seems there were other underlying issues such as exam results that had just been released as well as the institution had increased fees per semester,” he said.
The case highlights the rise in cases of mental issues, with the Kenya Mental Health Policy estimating that 20 – 25 per cent of outpatients visiting hospitals, present symptoms of mental illness.
According to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2022, women aged 15-49 were more depressed at 4 per cent, while men in the same age bracket have a depression rate of 3.1 per cent.
In terms of County, Narok women recorded 17 per cent depression rate, followed by Meru (10 per cent), Uasin Gishu (7.8 per cent) and Garissa (7.1 per cent).
Lamu and Murang’a women recorded a 5.9 per cent rate.
For men, Bomet County tops the list, with 21 per cent, followed by Laikipia (9.2 per cent), Isiolo (9 per cent), Uasin Gishu (6.9 per cent), Narok (6.6 per cent) and Kakamega (5.6 per cent).
According to the report, the leading factors that contributed to depression involved poverty, unemployment, physical illness, relationships, death of a loved one and substance abuse.
A photo of people outside Kasarani Police Station in Nairobi County on April 4, 2023.
National Police Service