Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


This paper highlights the extent of the brain drain in relation to human resources for health (HRH) that is currently challenging Kenya, and suggests strategies that have the potential to change current working environments and improve HRH retention rates. Governments in partnership with health professional bodies and regulators could improve the working conditions for psychiatrists and mental health nurses: by promoting career choices in mental health; by providing accessible professional development opportunities; and by easing workload pressures by expanding service reach through thoughtfully planned and delivered task-shifting to primary care. While these strategies have the potential to make a significant difference, the evidence suggests a brain drain will continue as long as working conditions remain sub-optimal and global HRH shortages persist.


BJPsych International