WISH promotes mental health among Somalis

By Gulf Times | May 14 2017


Mohamed Albinali speaking at the event

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) recently sponsored Shida, the fourth Annual Forum of the Somali Community in Qatar, organised by Weyak, a Doha-based voluntary organisation working to foster understanding of mental health issues with outreach activities.

Weyak partnered with Hersare Foundation, a Somali NGO supporting vulnerable and neglected people in Somalia and the Horn of Africa, to host Shida.

Shida is the result of an agreement between WISH and Weyak, establishing a co-operative framework to raise awareness of mental health in Qatar. The collaboration allows the two organisations to exchange ideas and information on mental health issues across various media platforms, including websites and social media, through community events.

Shida aims to raise awareness among Qatar’s Somali community about the causes of direct and indirect mental illnesses among Somalis living around the world and highlight how to avoid these issues.

Sultana Afdhal, partnerships and outreach manager of WISH, said: “We continue to support events like Shida that work to address social isolation and other significant challenges faced by people with mental health issues. The Somali demographic includes one of the highest refugee populations in the world.

“When considered in the context of the trauma of war, issues such as displacement, substance abuse, and mental illnesses combine to create some uniquely challenging problems that the people of Somalia have to endure on a day-to-day basis.”

The event was attended by a large number of Qatar’s Somali residents and their families, as well as representatives of other nationalities.

Attending dignitaries included Hassan bin Abdullah al-Ghanim, Qatar’s former minister of justice and deputy chairperson of Weyak; Hussein Osman, deputy health minister of Somalia; and Galma Mukhe Boru, ambassador of Kenya.

Mohamed Albinali, executive director of Weyak, said: “Our association’s mission is to spread awareness about mental health.We are happy and proud to organise Shida for the Somali community in Qatar with our partners WISH and Hersare Foundation.”

Several speakers with unique education and career backgrounds gave thought provoking talks that addressed topics like ‘khat’ addiction in Somalia and the challenges faced by people with physical disabilities and those experiencing mental illness.

Date Published: May 13, 2017

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