Experiences of a junior doctor establishing mental health services in Somaliland

Handuleh, J. (2012). Experiences of a junior doctor establishing mental health services in Somaliland. Intervention, 10(3), 274-278.

The author of this personal reflection is a junior doctor from Somaliland, a country that has suffered from civil war. He studied medicine there, and became interested in mental health care. This aspect of heath care is among the most neglected in the horn of Africa. However, with the support of British psychiatrists, the author has established educational training in psychiatry. He has also subsequently initiated mental health services in his hometown of Borama. Within a few years, an inpatient psychiatric unit, an outpatient department and community mental health outreach were also created. Key to his success was intensive cooperation and collaboration with the community, resulting in broad support for mental health programmes. He has also attempted to collaborate with traditional healers, but remains hesitant of their role.

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