A yr and a half in the past Ayanle Hussein from ‘Hanoolaato‘ interviewed me about psychological well being issues in Somali society. On the finish of the interview I stated that any Somali particular person in want of steerage in psychological/psychiatric issues was welcome to contact me. Since that day, I’ve been contacted by many individuals, totally on WhatsApp. It’s totally attention-grabbing what expertise can do right now: I am sitting in my residence in a small city in Denmark and I can speak to Somalis all around the world and it would not value me or them something.
Many mother and father within the diaspora wanted to speak about their kids, largely boys. The early indicators of schizophrenia are withdrawal from contact and actions equivalent to faculty and sports activities. Lots of the instances I used to be contacted about seemed like critical psychological problems and I strongly suggested the mother and father to contact their GP or the native psychological well being centre. In Western international locations with well-organized psychiatric providers, my job was to offer recommendation and steerage on the place to get skilled assist. The state of affairs was totally different in Somalia. Psychiatric providers are only a few and never free. Therefore, I needed to take accountability for making a psychiatric evaluation myself when needed to start out a course of therapy, and comply with up the affected person’s progress over a time frame.
I’m very glad that many mentally unwell folks in our nation obtained the required therapy simply due to the interview I had with ‘Hanolato’. What stunned me was that I used to be contacted by a lot of younger girls within the diaspora who had critical issues of their relationship with their husbands or ex-husbands. I heard the identical story again and again: flirting, seduction, marriage, kids and sudden divorce and the daddy’s absence. It’s extra the norm than the exception that younger Somali moms within the diaspora are alone with 4-5 kids.
May one clarification be that younger Somalis marry too shortly, earlier than they know one another effectively sufficient?
A pal of mine, a Somali social employee, hypothesizes that younger Somali girls marry too shortly to get out of a really controlling household. Marriage as an exit technique from a suffocating state of affairs. Many younger Somalis right now meet one another on social media platforms in international locations far aside. These on-line conferences offer you a fallacious image of the particular person you will marry and stay with. It might be very attention-grabbing to do a sociological examine “How and where did you meet your husband”?
I spoke to many younger Somali males through the years who wished to be part of their kids’s lives after a divorce however have been rejected by the ladies. These fathers really feel that they haven’t any rights particularly in western international locations. All this isn’t true. The males have rights as fathers, however there will likely be investigations into the explanations for the divorce. If the daddy has been abusive and violent, his rights will likely be lowered. I additionally met many younger fathers who turned homeless and began abusing alcohol and medicines after a divorce.
The issues are many and the necessity for constructive efforts is gigantic. It is crucial for the younger mother and father to know that their kids pays a really excessive worth if the mother and father can not cooperate after a divorce; particularly within the diaspora the place the variety of relations or neighbors who might help is restricted.
Along with 5 different skilled Somali girls, I began ‘Tusmo’ in Copenhagen 6 years in the past the place we offer info and steerage on social and well being issues on a voluntary foundation. That is executed each individually and in massive conferences: in Somali, for Somalis and by Somalis.
Somali professionals can simply do the identical in any diaspora.
On this article I simply wished to say that we diaspora professionals can, on a voluntary foundation, do quite a bit for our folks each in our new international locations and at residence.
Dr. Fatuma SA Giumale