Bloom: A Dedication to Psychological Well being in Tanzania

DAR-ES-SALAAM, Tanzania — Treating psychological well being in Tanzania continues to be very a lot an uphill battle. Annie Ljungqvist is a local of Tanzania who based Bloom Consultancy. As a resident of Dar, Ljungqvist, Mariam Mdope (co-founder) and their staff need to assist others in Tanzania with their private {and professional} development. In flip, by working with different Tanzanians, Bloom Consultancy hopes to scale back a few of the detrimental stereotypes about psychological well being of their house nation. Ms. Ljungqvist was form sufficient to sit down down with The Borgen Challenge and supply one on one perception into her firm.

The Story Behind Bloom Consultancy

The story behind Bloom’s delivery and its applications begins with a private journey. Earlier than branching out on her personal, Ms. Ljungqvist felt that she wasn’t doing sufficient to provide again to her nation. She had bother discovering a job that will permit her to do extra in her discipline, psychology. Her finish aim was to provide again to folks in her neighborhood in a manner that will assist them attain increased residing requirements. Tanzania continues to be a growing nation, and Ms. Ljungqvist wished to assist it develop.

The co-founder of Bloom, Mariam Mdope additionally wished to depart her present job within the banking world and do extra to assist Dar. She wished to focus extra on serving to professionals by way of teaching to assist folks succeed within the completely different phases of their careers. Bloom Consultancy was born underneath a shared want to do extra based mostly on one’s aspirations to BLOOM!

Bloom continues to be a comparatively younger firm. It affords providers to assist company shoppers in staff constructing workout routines through the use of habits and psychological approaches in the direction of workshops, teaching and particular person counseling. The group has additionally designed a package for younger girls and women working in rural agricultural areas and are about to begin a life abilities workshop for adolescents.


When talking with Ms. Ljungqvist, The Borgen Challenge requested what impressed her to return house to Dar and work within the psychological well being discipline; her reply was a quite intimate one. Rising up in a multicultural household atmosphere and worldwide tradition, Annie Ljungqvist was witness to many alternative existence and child-rearing practices in addition to varied languages and their interpretations. All these experiences boiled down to at least one frequent theme: human habits. These observations led her to the sphere of psychology.

Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania) is part of who Annie is, and it’s the place she calls house. Going again house felt pure. Annie believes Dar has performed effectively within the discipline of psychology, however there may be nonetheless extra work to do to enhance the requirements for its folks and assist these in want. There’s nonetheless a number of stigmas in Dar on the subject of asking for skilled assist. Ljungqvist and her companions consider that the stigma stems from the locals not totally understanding what psychological well being is.

Stigmas about Psychological Well being

A number of the greatest challenges that individuals in Tanzania face relating to psychological well being are the stigmas across the challenge. “Many individuals determine psychological well being as psychological sickness, and these are two various things. When somebody seeks assist, they’re often labeled as ‘loopy’ or ‘bizarre’, which isn’t true. The fact is that they see the world from a really completely different perspective then what the common individual sees. What they view and expertise is simply as actual as what we see.” Bloom Consultancy is working to interrupt down the stigmas of in search of assist for psychological well being points.

A method that Bloom Consultancy helps break the stigmas is by displaying that psychological well being isn’t any completely different from bodily well being. “Having a psychological sickness is like having a bodily illness- there are remedy plans and drugs. Taking remedy or going to remedy is much like attending physiotherapy and taking ache meds that will help you heal from an damage. You shouldn’t be ashamed to care for your WHOLE self.” Serving to folks see the similarities and significance of psychological well being care is among the finest methods to assist them overcome stereotypes.

A Want for Certified Psychological Well being Professionals

The most important battle for psychological well being in Tanzania appears to be there are not sufficient certified professionals though there’s a massive demand from sufferers. Normal practitioners treating different illnesses is not going to take into account the psychological well being standing of their sufferers; subsequently, they won’t refer or advise them to hunt satisfactory care or assist. There’s additionally a disconnect between non-public and public practices, which signifies that some shoppers will not be conscious you can search different providers elsewhere.

As in each nation, there’s a darkish facet to psychological well being. Numerous sufferers in Tanzania who’ve developmental delays, epilepsy, neurological issues or psychosis are often locked away by their households in worry. Most sufferers who find yourself within the psych wards have all visited witch docs in an try and heal their psychological dysfunction previous to being admitted. Typically cultural values and religions intrude with therapies as effectively.

Shoppers additionally battle to consider that confidentiality is not going to be damaged. Ms. Ljungqvist has heard shoppers admit they’ve traveled overseas or sought on-line assist to keep away from the opportunity of their issues being delivered to the general public. This additionally complicates transparency in remedy as a result of they’re scared to be fully trustworthy with their docs throughout classes.

Different Challenges for Psychology

Psychology isn’t a preferred career in Dar. In truth, levels should be sought out from different nations on account of a scarcity of psychology applications within the nation. The acknowledged psychology fields in Tanzania are academic psychology and scientific psychology. You’ll be able to solely get a license to apply if in case you have an MSC in Psychiatry due to the medical background. Sadly, this leaves room for practitioners who will not be certified to name themselves ‘psychologists’ and negatively influence the work that trustworthy practitioners do.

Ms. Ljungqvist, Ms. Mdope and Bloom goal to proceed to inspire the folks of their house nation. With each success story, this new start-up is extra inspired, inspiring it to proceed to offer assist and care. In the event you go to their web site, you possibly can see that Bloom makes use of the cherry blossom as its emblem. The cherry blossom symbolizes humility and hopefulness. Bloom Consultancy hopes that this illustration offers optimism to a brighter future for these in want and a greater outlook on psychological well being in Tanzania.

– Jennifer O’Brien

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