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Syrian refugees in Lebanon face mental health crisis

Syrian refugees in Lebanon who suffer from mental disorders often go without treatment, but some nongovernmental organizations are working to change this.
A Syrian girl displays a drawing hanging at a makeshift settlement for Syrian refugees in Bar Elias, in the Bekaa valley, March 15, 2015. March 15 marks the fourth anniversary of peaceful protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, leading to the devastating civil conflict in the country. Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 215,000 people have been killed since the start of the crisis in 2011, around half of them civilians. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi (LEBANON - Tags: CIVIL UNRES

Hunger, thirst, lack of hygiene and lack of medical care are not the only problems for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. They also suffer from depression, anxiety and stress, due not only to their displacement, but to their precarious existence. To help overcome these issues, some organizations, such as Medicins du Monde, the Amel Association and the ADN Center, focus on mental health and meet with the refugees to talk and treat their distress. This is not only good news for the Syrian refugees, who currently number more than 1 million, according to the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR. It's also good news for Lebanon, where new policies and action toward mental health treatment could be implemented.

In December 2014, nine men and women gathered at 8 a.m. at the ADN Center in Tripoli to listen to speech therapist and psychologist Zanoob El Zohory present a session about acceptable behavior for children and how to get them to overcome anxiety.

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