Helping to Give Refugees a Voice

25 April, 2016 Lebanon, Health
Refugees are arguably the world’s most vulnerable people; uprooted from their past lives amidst a backdrop of trauma with no stable home or future, their tenuous situations exact enormous mental and physical tolls.

Here is a glimpse of the refugee mental health crisis in Lebanon by the numbers:

  • 57% of refugees reported poor mental health
  • 94% of refugee families had lived through a personal traumatic experience, such as a death in the family, physical trauma, kidnapping or home destruction.
  • 29% of refugee children with diagnosed disabilities are not enrolled in school
  • 5% of refugee children complete secondary school
  • 2 % and 43.8% of disabled refugee men and women, respectively, are illiterate.

The vulnerabilities of refugee children and adults with disabilities and mental health illnesses are further exacerbated by the fact that they often face barriers that limit their access to education; this impedes their ability to become independent, integrated members of the community. Mental health conditions in Lebanon remain highly stigmatized, mental health support centres are centralized and inaccessible to refugees who live in settlements, while parents and teachers lack the expertise to effectively help their children and students suffering from these ailments. As a result, there is an urgent need for people with mental health needs to receive proper support.

To help alleviate this crisis, IDRF and Welfare Association are working together on a Lebanon mental health program for refugee children. The aim of this project is to provide 700 children and at least 700 of their caregivers with ongoing mental health support in the form of psychosocial therapy sessions and support activities, such as music, play, and drama therapy. We are also refurbishing a community-based rehabilitation centre, providing referrals to physical care specialists, conducting support sessions for teachers and school administrators, and supporting home-based care programs for caregivers.

Through your support, we can help children with disabilities improve their academic performances and coping skills while helping frontline caregivers better identify trauma to support at risk children.

Please give generously to help provide some of the most vulnerable people in the world with vital mental health assistance to help them have dignified lives with purpose.

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