The International Medical Corps estimates that 54% of Syrian refugees are experiencing severe emotional distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Virtually every refugee has lost family members and friends, as well as the community in which they live. They continue to be plagued by uncertainty, dislocation and poverty. The millions still living inside Syria face even greater difficulties.
Population-wide psychological trauma is one of the gravest consequences of war. The distress caused by the Syrian war will likely, unaddressed, cause terrible long-term damage. This is a crisis point for refugees. There is, however, a way to successfully address their suffering.
For 25 years, CMBM has worked extensively with populations affected by war and violence. We have provided our life-changing, often life-saving, program to hundreds of thousands of children and adults in Kosovo, Gaza, and Israel. In fact, CMBM published the first randomized control trial of any intervention with war traumatized children. It demonstrated that 80% of children who began CMBM’s Mind-Body Skills Groups no longer had it after 10 weeks.
Now CMBM is working with partner organizations in Jordan and across the Middle East to address the unmet psychological needs of Syrian refugees.
Watch this video to see how CMBM is helping Syrian refugee leaders and aid organizations relieve psychological trauma.
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James S. Gordon, MD
Musarrat Kazepis, MA, M.Sc