Making mental health care for all a reality in Somalia: United Nations and government join forces to develop quality mental health services at all levels of care – Somalia
Mogadishu, October 10, 2021 – For this year’s World Mental Health Day, the WHO global theme is â* Mental health care for all: let’s make it happen.â * Over the past year, there has been no doubts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the mental health of millions of people around the world, especially healthcare workers and other frontline workers, people living alone and people with disabilities mental health problems. In addition, at a time when mental, neurological and psychosocial support services were perhaps most needed, there have been significant disruptions in essential health care, including mental health services at all levels, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, there are still reasons for optimism – with improving COVID-19 vaccine coverage, more people are accessing health services, including for mental health. In addition, at the 2021 World Health Assembly, governments around the world recognized the need to develop quality mental health services at all levels – a task that WHO continues to strive towards at all levels. alongside governments around the world, including Somalia.
Somalia has been particularly affected by mental health problems due to decades of protracted conflict, which have severely disrupted social cohesion, shattered social norms and led nearly one in three Somalis to suffer from some form of mental health problem. Mental Health. In response, the Federal Government of Somalia and the United Nations (UN) in Somalia have joined forces to reiterate their support for this year’s World Mental Health Day theme, as well as to deliver an additional key message specific to Somalia: take bold action and deliver quality mental health care and services in the country.
âWe all have a role to play in supporting each other as a society and in making mental health a reality in Somalia,â said SE. Dr Fawziya Abikar Nur, Minister of Health and Human Services of Somalia. âWe can support and listen to people, and their friends and relatives, who have been the worst victims of violence and conflict for years. We can also work with them to confidently discuss their mental health issues with health workers and also advocate and mobilize for quality mental health services to be available at all levels, including at home. primary level.
The honorable minister added that communities must end the stigma surrounding mental health, seek the right support and speak more openly about their problems to manage stress and improve people’s well-being.
To address these challenges, the federal government worked with the WHO to develop a mental health strategy for 2019-2022 and is currently finalizing a mental health policy. In addition, with the support of the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund from 2020 to 2021 and as part of a partnership between the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), National University of Somalia and WHO, the federal government led the implementation of a mental health project in the context of âhealth for peaceâ with particular emphasis in Baidoa, Kismayo , Dollow, Galkaayo and Mogadishu. This project has helped healthcare workers understand, treat and provide more care for people in need of mental health support, as well as raise awareness of mental health issues. The project is also generating evidence on the interdependence between mental health and peace, a topic that has not been well studied or studied anywhere in the world.
âToday more than ever, Somalis need mental health support. As a resilient society, Somalis have suffered the effects of protracted conflict and health emergency after health emergency, âsaid Dr Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative in Somalia. âTogether with the federal government and our partners, we are ensuring that the WHO action agenda on the mental health gap is mainstreamed at all levels of care, particularly at the community and primary levels. ”
âThe conflict in Somalia has an impact on millions of children. Continued exposure to violence, fear and uncertainty can have a devastating impact on their behavior, learning, emotional and social development for years to come, âsaid UNICEF Representative in Somalia Mohamed Ayoya. âIt is our job and our collective responsibility to help these children recover and regain some sense of normalcy. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, WHO and partners, UNICEF is providing children – who have witnessed extreme violence and loss – with psychological and psychosocial support. “
âNo health system can be equitable if it does not provide mental health services to those who need them most, which is why UNDP Somalia supports counseling and mediation for vulnerable groups, including women victims of violence and families facing conflict, âsaid United Nations resident Jocelyn Mason. Acting Coordinator and Resident Representative of UNDP in Somalia.
On this year’s World Mental Health Day, the WHO Country Office for Somalia strongly supports the global theme â* Mental health care for all: let’s make it happenâ * and will continue to support the global theme. work closely with government and all partners to scale up quality mental health services at all levels in Somalia.
For more information please contact:
Khadar Hussein Mohamud
Coordination and Communication Manager
Federal Ministry of Health
+252 615 602 637
WHO Acting Chief of Staff, Communications Officer
+252 619 235 880