How can we describe things that are too awful to put into words? Most people find it difficult to speak about their own fears, losses or injuries. But nothing helps more than sharing these experiences. In Jordan, a team of experts are working with people who have experienced suicidal thoughts, using art therapy. In a safe space, men, women and children can translate what they have been through into words and music. Others use a paintbrush to express their emotions.
The art workshops are one of many elements that GIZ is using to advance psychosocial support for refugees and internally displaced persons in the Middle East. The project Psychosocial Support for Syrian Refugees and Internally Displaced People is part of BMZ’s special initiative Tackling the Root Causes of Displacement, (Re)integrating Refugees. In 2021, one focus was on preventing suicides.
In Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey, GIZ is working with partner organisations to develop the range of mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) available, in order to preserve and improve people’s wellbeing and counter mental disorders. Needs vary widely in the field of MHPSS, as do the support services available. The latter can take the form of sports courses that can restore feelings such as trust and fairness, facilitated forms of artistic expression, or psychotherapy and psychiatric interventions.
The project pools, generates and disseminates expertise in the field of MHPSS and networks actors to help strengthen structures overall and better mainstream the issue in the region. In countries around the world, mental health illnesses often continue to be treated as taboo. The project also trains staff working in refugee projects so that they can better respond to people’s needs while also caring for their own mental health. They are, after all, confronted with the suffering of very many people on a daily basis.
In Honduras, too, GIZ experts offer psychosocial support services and foster a culture of dialogue within the scope of the Civil Peace Service (CPS) programme. You will find an interview with development worker Jasper Alders at:
Civil Peace Service Honduras
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
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The 2030 Agenda and its 17 goals are important benchmarks for GIZ.