More than half of the Syrian refuges living in Lebanon need support to tackle their psychological problems and mental traumas. However, only one in four receives the assistance needed, according to a new report from Dignity and Danish Refugee Council (DRC).
Humanitarian organisations must therefore prioritise psycho-social support and integrate it into existing programs, the report says.
62% request help for mental trauma
Around one million Syrians have fled to the neighbouring Lebanon and most suffer from psychological problems because of their experience during the war and their current uncertain situation, says DRC. However, few receive adequate professional assistance. Many don't know who they can turn to for help, and only 5% of male refugees have received psychological assistance
Among women the figure is 12%. The DRC report is based on a survey among more than 1,000 Syrian refugees living in Lebanon as well as in-depth interviews with around 350 people. As many as 62% of the refugees express a need for help with their mental or psychological problems. One in three has experienced one or multiple traumatic events and 25% have lost a close family member.
'Wake-up call to be taken seriously'
"The report documents the brutality of war and the traumas that the refugees are living with, as well as the stressful situations many refugees experience even after they have found a safer place to stay. The report is an important wake-up call, which we need to take seriously," said Christian Friis Bach, Secretary General of the Danish Refugee Council. The refugees state a number of reasons why they have not received the assistance they need. Many are not aware of what is offered. For others, transport is a challenge. The report shows that there is a clear link between the daily economic struggle of the refugees and their mental health. Therefore, the report recommends that humanitarian organisations prioritise livelihood programmes, enabling refugees to fend for themselves and their families.