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Somaliland: a country in crisis

Somaliland is experiencing an explosion of mental health problems that has received little coverage. The country has experienced devastating civil wars that have resulted in widespread trauma, and the lack of necessary mental health infrastructure is an obstacle to allowing the population to heal and recover. War trauma, poverty, unemployment and widespread substance misuse (khat) have all negatively affected the mental health of its citizens. This video highlights findings from a research paper published on this subject which calls for the global health community to support the development of a sustainable, person-centred mental health service.

  • Dr Faumo Abdi Abdillahi
  • Dr Fatumo Abdi Abdillahi
  • Hodan Yusuf
  • Dr Fatumo Abdi Abdillahi
    Key Cast
  • Dr Edna Adan Ismail
    Key Cast
  • Prof Swaran P. Singh
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 16 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 17, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Dr Faumo Abdi Abdillahi

Fatumo is a Somali public health specialist and researcher who travelled alone to undertake mental health research in Somaliland in her spare time, with a view to highlighting the difficulties, stigma and injustices people with mental illness face in the region. The findings were published in the British Journal of Psychiatry International in Oct 2019.

Fatumo is the Founder of the Somali Mental Health Network, is a regular keynote speaker and conference emcee on wider health and social issues and is considered a leading voice in the Somali diaspora community.
Fatumo has a Masters in Public Health and a PhD in Infectious Disease Immunology.

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Director Statement

Film and story-telling is a powerful way to convey health messages, breakdown stigma and share the journeys people face in seeking health services in difficult settings, that we take for granted. I hope this video goes some way to turning the spotlight on what happens when a country's population has been through conflict, social issues and environmental disasters and the deep trauma suffered at a societal level remains unresolved.

A range of activities (including further research) are planned in 2020 to highlight health and social inequalities in marginalised communities with a focus on mental health.