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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 136-140

Addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Needs in Displacement: How a Stateless Person from Syria Became a Refugee and Community Helper in Iraq

1 MHPSS Officer, UNHCR, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
2 Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Community Worker, DOH, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Hivine Ali
UNHCR, Erbil
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_46_20

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This personal reflection contains two stories that got intertwined due to the involvement of both authors with Problem Management Plus (PM+). One of the authors −Kawa Ari − is a stateless young man from Syria who was displaced in 2012 to the Kurdistan region of Iraq. He works as a mental health and psychosocial support community worker in the refugee camp where he lives. He was trained in PM+ and describes how this has helped him and his family and enables him to support others in a more effective way. The second author − Hivine Ali − trained Kawa Ari in PM+. The article is based on an interview with Kawa concerning his personal and professional story. It also includes Hivine’s reflections concerning the key role of forcibly displaced persons in providing support to other community members, drawing on her field experience of PM+ and her close collaboration with MHPSS community workers in Iraq. It describes how interventions like PM+ also have a positive impact on the personal development and resilience of the refugees who are trained as providers. This is an important contribution to their community mental health and psychosocial wellbeing and should be recognised as such. The story of Kawa and many other refugees also prompts reflections on Hivine’s own background, coming from a family that experienced displacement.

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