Story and photo by Sharmarke Ismail
Maan Somali mental health organised workshop which aimed to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing and at same time promoting the importance of being active as part of Active Burngreave project.
Many Somali of the Somali community both elderly and the young including university graduates and other professionals attended the workshop.
Sharmarke Ismail, Community development worker at Maan, explained the aim of the workshop which was to raise awareness about mental health and well-being to the Somali community in Sheffield in order for the community gain a wider understanding of the issues surrounding mental health and to work effectively with those suffering from mental health problems. Sharmarke also explained the different mental health problems and the common mental health disorders and highlighted ways to support people with mental health and the importance of working with service providers. Sharmarke also explained that Maan is in the middle of producing guidelines on how to look after your own mental health both in English and Somali.
Part of the workshop was to be active and participant enjoyed playing and watching Somali traditional dance. Where young Somali and the second generation were keen to learn Somali traditional dance. Older also participated by sharing stories about traditional dance and how Somalis are passionate about folktale and poetry.
The session was participatory and ended with pledging to end stigma and discrimination. The workshop aimed to change the attitude of Somali community towards the stigma and discrimination behind mental health. All members attended the workshop pledged to end the stigma and discrimination about mental health.
The participant displayed a message such as stand up to stigma, Time to change; let us end mental health discrimination, No one should should feel ashamed to talk about mental health etc.