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Tragedy as Policeman Dies by Suicide at Station in Murang’a

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Police are investigating an incident in which a junior police officer died by suicide after he shot himself in the head at the Nyakianga police station, Murang’a County.

The body of Constable Douglas Mbugua was found in a pool of blood moments after he had shot himself in his house on Monday afternoon.

Three spent cartridges were recovered at the scene. Police said they head a gunshot from his house and when they went to check on what had happened, they stumbled on the body on his bed.

Mbugua lived alone in the house and had not shown any signs of disturbance, his colleagues said. Those who visited the scene said he shot himself through the mouth and the bullet exited the rear part of the head.

The body was moved to Kiria-ini Mission mortuary pending autopsy. Police suicides have been on the rise and most are blamed on stress and work-related trauma.

As part of efforts to address the problem, authorities have started a counselling programme for the officers. The National Police Service Commission announced it had established the counselling unit to evaluate, design, and lead an outreach programme to deal with mental health problems and substance abuse.

The programme also helps police families and others affected by mental health problems, substance abuse and trauma. Officials say the government, the National Police Service and the Prisons Service have enhanced counselling and medical help for officers.

There is a deliberate drive to destigmatize mental illness and stress and to actively reach out to potential cases, including through the Nyumba Kumi initiative, officials say.

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