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Mental Health in Somaliland

The King's-THET-Somaliland-Partnership (KTSP) have made some fantastic advances in mental health care in a country which previously had none.

Since 2007, staff from King's have been visiting Somaliland to give medical students, junior doctors and nurses their first formal mental health teaching and begin the development of initial mental health services.   Lauren Gavaghan, a psychiatry CT3 trainee discusses her experiences of teaching in Borama here. In-country teaching has been extended to include online tutorials and supervision via the distance learning platform MedicineAfrica.

KTSP have also worked to change negative perceptions of mental health in the community through mental health representatives who advocate for mental health care in Somaliland and it's integration into the health system. Similarly, through peer-to-peer learning students from King's meet up online with medical students in Somaliland to discuss issues around mental health which helps break down stigma and gets students both in the UK and Somaliland to engage with Psychiatry.

Jibril Handuleh, a junior doctor in Somaliland and previous mental health representative has set up mental health services in his home town of Borama.  His story has been published here.

The KTSP mental health group has over 160 multidisciplinary members including psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and mental health nurses who meet regularly to plan and discuss the King's led mental health activity in Somaliland.  If you are interested in getting involved in their work, please contact the KTSP mental health co-leads Lauren Gavaghan or Mary-Jo Doyle.