IOM today launched a video documenting the hopes and fears of a group of young Syrian women in Lebanon to mark International Youth Day, which this year focuses on mental health.
“Letter from a Refugee” follows their emotional journey from fleeing the war in Syria, the stress of separation from family and friends, the difficulties of adapting to their new environment and, ultimately, the discovery of their own inner strengths.
The video was shot at DARI, a Recreational and Counselling Center for Families in Baalbeck in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, and is the result of a creative self-help workshop – part of an Italian government-funded IOM project: “Psychosocial Support to Crisis-Affected Youth and their Families in Syria and Neighboring Countries.” The IOM project has provided psycho-social help to over 220,000 displaced Syrian young people and their family members in Syria and Lebanon and trained some 1,290 mental health professionals in the two countries since June 2013.
“Good mental health is not only the absence of mental disorders, but is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life and is able to make a contribution to his or her community,” says IOM Head of Psychosocial Support Guglielmo Schininà.
“Young people on the move, including refugees, displaced, unaccompanied children and young people left behind by migrating parents, often face stresses that are not considered “normal.” Their ability to contribute to the life of their community of origin and host community is often hampered by administrative, cultural and social barriers, and stigma,” he adds.
“This video and animation laboratory helped these girls to acknowledge their suffering, share their experiences, establish solidarity with each other and explore shared coping strategies,” he notes.
To view “Letter from a Refugee”, click here.