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Strengthening Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in UNHCR - Achievements in 2021 and priorities for 2022 and beyond

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Assessing MHPSS needs

76% of participatory assessments with refugees (n=95) in 56 countries, included MHPSS concerns. 17% of the assessments had a subsection on MHPSS but most assessments mentioned MHPSS in the context of other issues such as: GBV (15%), Community-based protection (12%), Health (8%), Child protection (7%), and Education (6%).
In a joint initiative with the World Bank, UNHCR included questions about the mental health status of refugee and host populations in various countries. In 2021, data have been collected in Uganda, Bangladesh and Kenya. A study in Uganda found that refugees were ten times more like to report depression symptoms than nationals living in the surrounding host communities.

Country Spotlight Lebanon: Asking about mental health in participatory assessments

In Lebanon, participatory assessments in 2021 (66 Focus Group Discussions with 643 refugees) included questions on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. Refugees reported that the mental health situation of the community deteriorated due to the economic crisis, lockdown procedures, limited possibilities for social interactions, isolation. Financial burdens, inability to access education, inability to secure basic needs, lack of job opportunities directly affected the mental health of individuals. 65% of the groups mentioned that the situation made them feel sad, 64% mentioned being angry, and 58% reported being continuously worried or fearful.