“Mental health problems are taboo in the Somali community in Finland”

Idil Hussein from The National Institute for Health and Welfare says in an interview with Länsiväylä that according to a recent study, Somali people have psychological symptoms as much as other population in Finland, but they use mental health services much less than other population.

“There are no words in Somali for all mental disorders.For example, the closest equivalent of “a depression” word mainly refer to short-term grief. There is no word for Schizophrenia in Somali, “Hussein says.

Hussein would not want to look at the Somali community by dividing it by gender. She would distribute the population to those born in Finland or to those who came in Finland as a child and to parents born in Somalia who have probably fled the war.

“The second group has traumatic symptoms. In young people, mental health problems are similar to young Finns. Young people are more likely to know where to get help, but many parents are out of help.” Hussein says.

Hussein believes in the expertise of the health care staff, but hopes that Somalis will also be asked about the mind. She recalls that mental health problems can appear as physical discomfort.

The Finnish Somali League also expresses concern about mental health problems among the Somali community.

Source: Länsiväylä