Our Somali Program provides culturally–specific intensive and non-intensive clinical and case management services. Using Somali-speaking case managers, we provide support for Somali youth and families struggling with symptoms related to loss, trauma, and resettlement, as well as issues common to the process of merging cultures. The outreach component of the program connects Somali families to community resources specific to their needs. We provide acculturation services to the Somali community in Franklin County and service providers with many Somali clients and patrons.
Central Ohio has one of the largest communities of Somali immigrants in the entire country. As a result, Somali residents here have a unique level of community support, as well as a unique set of challenges. Some of the issues we address with our Somali mental health resources are:
Lack of Awareness about Healthcare Services – Many Somali immigrants, having come from refugee camps, may not be familiar with the mental health services available or how to navigate the US healthcare system.
Stigma and Fear of Diagnosis – Some Somali parents are concerned about the potential labeling of their children with mental health diagnoses, leading to a fear of seeking help.
Distrust of the System – Many Somalis worry about the involvement of Child Protective Services (CPS) or becoming entangled with the system, which can deter them from seeking assistance until it becomes absolutely necessary.
Misconceptions about Medication – There’s a misconception that giving medications to children might worsen their mental health condition, leading to a belief that medical treatment can cause their condition to deteriorate.
Denial of Child Mental Health Issues – Some parents may not believe that children can experience mental health problems like anxiety and depression. This belief can stem from the notion that children lead relatively stress-free lives without adult responsibilities.