MHPSS for Refugees

This project, funded by UNHCR and implemented by GRT aimed at responding to the Asylum Seekers, Refugees and IDPs protection needs in Hargeisa, Somaliland, by building an integrated psychosocial support framework. 



The intervention's main goal was to provide timely mental health and psychosocial support services to Asylum Seekers, Refugees and IDPs in Hargeisa, including both preventive and response measures. 

In particular the project aimed at building the capacity of local partners in providing timely MHPSS services to SGBV survivors, children and youth in need and to promote a peaceful coexistence between Asylum Seekers, Refugees, IDPs and host community. 

Description of Activities: 

This project has been carried out with different methodologies. Its implementation started with a rapid training needs assessment of the project actors followed by a capacity building training on MHPSS to local stakeholders and a on-the-job capacity building of local stakeholders. 

Afterwards, support has been provided to complex cases through clinical supervision and Community Group Discussions have been conducted.

As part of this project some awareness-raising activities on protection of Refugees and Asylum Seekers (RAS) and IDPs have been carried out too, in order to sensitise the host community. 



The beneficiaries have been mostly refugees, asylum seekers and IDPs hosted in the region. Among these particular attention has been given to children, adolescents and youth refugees, people with mental disabilities and SGBV survivors. 



As a result of this project some training capacity needs assessment have been delivered as well as end-line assessment with reports and analysis and on-the-job support to local staff, including peer-to-peer training from external senior GBV staff. 

Moreover, psychosocial support to boys and girls and recreational material have been provided together with the treatment of 30 people, between refugees and IDPs, at the Mental Health Department of Hargeisa Group Hospital. 

GRT also managed to deliver 6 trainings on Mental Health Psychosocial Support during the course of the project. 




Mental Health

The incredible strenght of mentally ill people and their disconcerning fragility have made it possible for GRT to be involved in projects to support these people and their families in South America and in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somalia. 




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.