Story by Farhaan Warsame | Photo by Sharmarke Ismail
MAAN is primarily a mental health charity that helps Somali people who need some support. MAAN is working with other health and social care services to provide a number of different services such as counselling and helping them with access to other facilities.
MAAN’s annual meeting, which took place at Verdon Street Recreation centre on 23rd October, was well attended with many Somali organisations, groups, other partnerships and individuals participating.
One of the speakers from MAAN explained how they help the individual with a mental health condition and support individuals to access services available in the community.
Community development worker Abdi Riyale said: “In Somali we do not have the words stress or depression you are just mad or not mad. We want to stop this bad stigma of mental health issues”
For many years people have suffered difficult economic conditions and benefit cuts. Housing and immigration problems have added to the problems of those in the Somali community struggling with mental health issues. Coordinator Sharmarke said: “We provide information, workshops and activities to improve awareness for mental health”.
This year MAAN helped many people who now live independently and manage their life well. MAAN see many people who are self-referred or referred by their GP.
The children who have been born and have grown up here often find themselves jobless after completing a school education. This contributes to a number of youth crimes which are sometimes committed out of boredom and selfmedicating is an ongoing problem.
MAAN work very hard within their budget.
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