Lebanese NGOs Are Allying To Ensure Mental Health Program In Schools


Content warning – If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the friendly team at Embrace by calling 1564.

Beirut-based NGO Elgorithm has initiated a campaign, allying the public and other NGOs in the country, to provide public and private schools with free access to mental health programs.

Elgorithm aims to coordinate with the ministry of education to implement a sustainable program in the Lebanese curriculum to provide mental health to 350,000 students in the country,

It is doing so by building a coalition with other NGOs and calling on the public to join in a petition to the ministry of education.

Elgorithm has issued a study that revealed that “90% of youth have self-reported struggling with mental health-related issues (Child Mind Institute, 2019), and only 6% have access to these services (Maalof, 2017)”.

The NGO wants “de-stigmatize mental health in schools and cultivates a safe space where children navigate trauma in a way that does not hinder their education.”

The de-stigmatizing comes by training educators, raising awareness and prevention, conducting career guidance, and increasing access to higher education.

Elgorithm also wants to “guarantee youth’s direct access to free protection services against sexual violence, abuse, harassment, domestic violence, and substance use.”

The long-existing stigmas around mental health in Lebanon have been an impediment to the well-being of many as they avoid going to psychiatrists for fear of being labeled as “crazy”.

This misconception has been detrimental.

Those in need of professional help or assistance to deal with their mental issues, whether chronic or transient, abstain from seeking that much-needed service and attention.

It has led to cases of suicide and crimes, and severe depression episodes in temporary cases turning chronic for lack of professional help.

Lebanon hasn’t been on a normal life status these past three years and plus during which crises have kept adding and lengthening.

The Lebanese daily lives have been severely challenging, from the food crisis and meds crisis to the socio-economic crisis, and the in-between, all topped by the horror they lived or witnessed with the Beirut port explosion.

According to Embrace, 80% of Beirut residents meet the clinical criteria for PTSD following the port explosion.

The mental health of the youth in Lebanon hasn’t been spared. Trauma, depression, distress, and even despair at the lack of any indications of reforms that could give them some hope in their future life in the country.

Saving the youth in Lebanon is crucial as the country’s future lies on their shoulders, their motivation, their stamina, and their love for life. Hence the importance of Elgorithm’s current initiative.

To support and/or sign the petition, visit here.

Content warning – If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the friendly team at Embrace by calling 1564.

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