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VTMH News

Special Seminar with Dr Yusuf Sheikh Omar

Kate Fagnani - Friday, May 06, 2016
On Monday 18th April, Dr Yusuf Omar presented a seminar at VTMH on Horn of Africa Muslim men and their experiences and understanding of mental health and how they utilized traditional as well as mainstream services.

From his qualitative research involving young and elder participants, Dr Omar identified that immigration and settlement-linked stressors such as unemployment, racism, gender role reversal, raising children, and substance abuse impacted on emotional wellbeing for this population. Barriers for not seeking help from mainstream services included lack of mental health literacy and negative perceptions of those services. Traditional treatments included social and religious practices with some differences noted between young and elder men.

About Yusuf 

Yusuf Sheikh Omar holds PhD from La Trobe University. He is a writer, a poet, peace activist. He worked as a teacher at Victoria University, as a researcher at University of Melbourne and Victorian Transcultural Mental Health focusing on Khat Use in the Horn of African community in Victoria and also on Emotional wellbeing of the Horn of African Muslim men. Yusuf has published widely international academic journals and the leading Australian newspapers. His also research focuses on social integration of young Somalis living in the western countries. He is a former member of African Ministerial Consultative Committee for the Australian Federal Government (2012–2013). He has currently been appointed a Global Advisor for Global Reconciliation.