Mutual help between twinned cities leads to the creation and development of concrete mental health initiatives. The “Mental Health in Burkina Faso” project is an example of a desire to be involved in this aspect of health which affects numerous people throughout the country. 

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Mental health heavily impacted in Burkina Faso 

The population’s mental health in Burkina Faso is greatly affected by terrorism and poverty. Jihadist attacks are increasing across the country and the impact of these frequent terrorist attacks means a high risk of mental disorders for civilians, and the security and emergency services.

In a country where mental health is still highly stigmatised, political and health authority support is key to improving access to mental healthcare.

It began with a survey…

The CCOMS (World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Training and Research in Mental Health) together with Expertise France, held an extensive survey in 2021 throughout Burkina Faso. 

Almost half of the survey respondents said they had been exposed to stressful situations or traumatic events. And almost one third suffered from a mental health issue.

City twinning: concrete support

The introduction of Local Health Contracts  (LHCs), one of the action levers to have emerged from the survey, organises the available support resources so that appropriate mental health care can be provided. 

Vence is one of the four French partner cities (including Lyon, Bordeaux and Nice) supporting the creation of this body in their partner city. Ouahigouya is in Burkina Faso, 180 km north of the capital Ouagadougou. Vence and Ouahigouya were twinned in 1978.

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Article updated on 02/11/22