INARA - INTERNATIONAL NETWORK FOR AID RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE
Project - Increasing the Well-Being and Mental Health of Refugee Children in Turkey
1 August 2021-1 August 2022
Ten years on from the outbreak of the Syrian crisis and uprising, refugee children need help processing the trauma and violence they have seen for all or most of their lives. INARA created this program to provide the lacking Arabic mental health services to injured Syrian refugee children with the aim of helping them process their past trauma, both injury and war-related, improving their mental health and well-being.
INARA works with injured refugee children to facilitate access to existing medical services and provides full financial coverage for care until the child is fully healed from their injuries. Through this medical program, INARA has seen the depths of their trauma and the immense need for the healing of their mental scars as well as their physical wounds. Turkish public healthcare for refugees extends to mental health services and there are some NGOs who offer it, but both of these are only in certain locations and with limited capacity. Additionally, the language barrier hinders refugees’ access. A recent study found psychiatric concerns in 71% of refugee children and UNHCR Turkey has listed increased efforts around psycho-social support as a priority intervention for refugees in 2021.
To address this gap and need, INARA created a new mental health project to support medical program beneficiaries. INARA established a child safe space in its office in Gaziantep that was used for provision of care. INARA hired an Arabic speaking licensed clinical child and adolescent psychologist and a part-time psychiatrist to provide one-to-one mental health care and write prescriptions as needed. Culturally competent and trauma-informed mental health and psychosocial care was provided to 60 beneficiaries over the course of this project.
Al Madad Foundation was proud to support the trial of this much-needed new innovation and looks forward to following the work of INARA over the coming years.