IOM Helps Mental Health Displaced in Hargeisa

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
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GENEVA, Switzerland, September 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM is supporting 210 patients admitted and treated at the Mental Health Department at Hargeisa Group Hospital in Somaliland at the request of the director of the hospital for urgent needs.

IOM distributed this week blankets, sleeping mats, bed sheets and jerry cans in collaboration with UNHCR and Gruppo per le Relazioni Transculturali (GRT), an Italian NGO that has extensive experience and solid expertise in providing psychosocial services.

Upon discharge, patients will be allowed to carry home some of the non-food items, in order to support their families who are without or with very little resources during their hospitalization. Most of the patients are internally displaced persons facing heavy financial constraints.

They suffer from post-conflict stress as many have experienced the terrible loss of their loved ones or have been victims of gender-based violence (GBV). Unfortunately, many survivors seldom receive the necessary assistance because of the scarcity of medical, psychosocial and legal services, but also due to limited knowledge on available services and, even worse, because of fear of reprisal by perpetrators.

Over the last two years, IOM in collaboration with other humanitarian workers and with financial support from the Government of Japan has implemented several projects to prevent and respond to GBV, and provide mental health assistance in Somaliland.

“But still, more needs to be done to address mental health and improve uptake of available medical, psychosocial and legal services in Somaliland,” said Dr Samir Hadjiabduli, Head of IOM's Hargeisa Sub-Office.