Developing an agenda for mental health in marginalised areas of Tunisia
International Alert’s project of developing a mental health agenda for marginalised areas of Tunisia aims to empower residents of border regions and working-class neighbourhoods, particularly young residents, to exercise their right to mental health and to mental health services. As part of this project, we conducted an in-depth analysis of young people’s enjoyment of this right in these areas. In the first stage, we worked with a team of researchers from a range of fields to conduct a mixed-methods study on young people aged 18-29 in North Kasserine, North Tataouine and El Kabaria (Tunis). This study focused on young people’s impressions of their mental and physical health, their knowledge of psychological disorders and their treatment, their experiences of mental health problems – including how they deal with these problems and their attitudes to the services available – the effects of all these issues on their lives, and issues of violence and addiction as they see and experience them.
As part of this second stage, we wanted to find out what young people believe their mental health needs are, both broadly and in terms of services. To do this, we adopted a participative quantitative approach, making use of focus groups.