In South-Central Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland decades of civil conflict and socio-political instability have affected the mental wellbeing of communities and depleted the social-cultural support pillars of the community when it comes to coping with stressful situations. As a consequence, cases of mental break-down and psychological devastation amongst Somali communities continue to reach unprecedented levels with the prevalence of mental illness in the whole Somalia currently estimated as being one of the highest in the world.
Traditionally, mental health has been a stigmatized condition with the mentally ill people being discriminated and socially isolated. This demonstrates a practiced culture of maximum containment and hostility, with chaining of mental health patients.
Despite this worrying situation, mental health continues to remain a neglected sector across Somalia. Mental health issues are less prioritized by local authorities and investment by the humanitarian community remains incredibly low, which in turn, leaves the existing local organizations poorly capacitated to effectively offer any meaningful solution. This situation creates a condition where the burdens of people with mental health disabilities are left to their immediate relatives and to the traditional/faith-based Mental Health healers.
In such a context, GRT carried out different projects aiming at helping mentally ill people and their families, as well as at providing them with better mental health centres and institutions.