by Megan Amal
Dr. Fartun is a member of the Board of Directors of the Somalia Mental Health Foundation and also does Research and Program Development for the foundation. Dr. Fartun is an educator and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has years of experience working with diverse populations. She is an avid promoter of good mental health for all and works tirelessly to ensure the provision of culturally responsive treatment options. Dr. Mohamud offers seminars and workshops that address mental health, conflict resolution, maximizing potential and enhancing growth capacity. In her spare time, Dr. Mohamud is an Adjunct Professor at Lynn University and Palm Beach State College. Her research interests include global mental health, curriculum development and special education. She has been involved in numerous community awareness programs and has developed and implemented a wide variety of psycho-educational programs at the national and international level.
Megan Amal: Tell us about the Somali Mental Health Professionals Network:
Fortun Mohamud: Somali Mental Health Professionals Network is an inclusive network of Somali professionals in the fields of Psychology, Psychiatry, Social work, Mental health Counseling, and other related fields to share knowledge, expertise, resources and volunteer opportunities in service of the mental health needs of ALL Somali people.
MA: Tell us about your upcoming conference:
FM: Somali Mental Health Professionals Network in partnership with Somali Mental Health Foundation, 501(c) US based nonprofit organization that provides mental health services and guidance for people with mental health needs in Somalia, and the University of Minnesota School of Social Work organized this first of its kind conference to highlight Global mental health and Somalia. The focus of the conference is to expand the dialogue and create a venue for solution focused collaboration of mental health practitioners, researchers, graduate students, policy makers, and consumers of mental health services at the national and international level.
MA: What are some unique considerations when working on increasing mental health and well-being among Somalis?
MA: What is a misconception about mental health that you want to correct? What is a misconception about Somalis that you want to correct?
FM: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one out of five American adults experience Mental health issue. Unfortunately, it is still a difficult topic to discuss for many. It is even more difficult in the Somali Community. Our hope is that we raise awareness and to eliminate the stigma associated with seeking treatment. We are also working hard to raise awareness of the current situation in Somalia given the current initiatives and calls for action by the Global Mental Health Community.
MA: What is one thing that our readers can do now to improve their mental health?
FM: Following are quick steps to start on our road to improved mental health: