Mental Health

This Mental Health project aims at building the advocacy, managerial and technical capacity of CSOs, improving the quality and effectiveness of mental health service delivery and challenging the social norms that perpetuate stigma and discrimination against Mental Health. In order to do this, the project aims at educating and raising public awareness and to develop the capacity of local  authorities to take an active role in the supervision of Mental Health stakeholders. 


The action aims at improving the quality and effectiveness of the "Mental Health Service Delivery" in Somalia by promoting a coordinated response towards the development of Somali Non-State actors and CSO's capacities in the area of Mental Health.

Description of Activities:

During the course of the project GRT managed to assess the capacity of several private mental health centres in Somaliland and Puntland as well as in South-Central Somalia, particularly in the cities of Hargeisa, Bosaso, Qardho, Kismayu and Gebilay.

As well as this, several meetings have been organized with three private health centres in Hargeisa (Horison, Kalawle and Gebilay) that led to the draft of a Memorandum of Understanding. Moreover, incentives and technical support have been provided and the centres daily activities as well as the activities of the Hargeisa Hospital Mental Health ward have been monitored. 

GRT also succeded to generate co-funding project fund for the Mental Health project with UNOPS and supported the social-working school at the Gollis University with their internship as well as collaborated with the Frantz-Fanon University.


The target group of this project involves the Somali Non-State Actors and the Civil Society Organisations while the final beneficiaries are people with mental disorders and their families. 


The project significantly improved the level of engagement and participation of the CSOs in the area of Mental Health (MH) and Psychosocial Support as well as increasing the collaboration for referral by strengthening the Somaliland Mental Health Unit and the establishment of a Mental Health ward. 

As a result of this project, Somaliland finalized its Mental Health policy and announced mental health as a top priorities in the health strategy and Puntland drafted its first abstract in terms of MH policy. 

The quality of MH service delivery and effectiveness has been notably improved in 5 private MH centres by delivering psychotropic drugs and building managerial and technical capacities in 30 MH centres across Somailand and Puntland and the community has been significantly sensitised to the topic of human rights of people affected by mental health disorders through awareness campaigns and advocacy material.

A total of 4,732 people affected by mental health problems have been treated thorugh the project.



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mental health - traditional medicine


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

With regard to traditional medicine instead, GRT aims at finding effective methods of support for a way of thinking and a therapeutic practice which are different from the Western one. 



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.