Improving psychosocial support in Jordanian host communities
Title: Psychosocial support and trauma work in Jordan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of the special initiative Tackling the Root Causes of Displacement – Reintegrating Refugees
Lead executing agency: Jordanian Ministry of Health
Overall term: 2017 to 2021
With the 2030 Agenda and its own national strategies, the Jordanian Government is committed to improving mental health and psychosocial support services in host communities with Syrian refugees. These strategies include the Jordan Response Plan to the Syria Crisis (2020), the National Mental Health Policy from 2011 and the National Mental Health and Substance Use Action Plan 2018-2021. However, the health care system is barely able to meet the high demand for professional services. This applies both to state-run health centres and community-based organisations.
The range and quality of psychosocial support services provided by state and civil society actors has improved.
The project is building and expanding capacity to ensure that psychosocial support is available for Syrian refugees and Jordanian host communities. Further training measures give people working in the health system more knowledge and better skills to provide more specific care for women, men and children.
For the state health centres in Sahab, Mafraq and Zarqa, the project and its partners have developed a strategy to ensure the sustainability of psychosocial services. In order to ensure that staff in the health care system remain healthy despite their high workloads, intensive courses on employee welfare and self-care are offered. The project is also expanding support groups in the health centres. These groups enable participants to benefit from the experience of others and obtain mutual assistance.
Within the Ministry of Health, an employee welfare and self-care centre has been set up. The community-based organisations providing psychosocial services in Zarqa, Mafraq and Sahab receive coordinated training in personal, professional and organisational skills.
Interdisciplinary dialogue events are carried out with representatives from the political and research spheres as well as initiatives and associations to raise awareness of psychosocial issues. These include, for example, psychosocial services for people with disabilities or for women who have been victims of violence.
In cooperation with the University of Jordan in Amman and Yarmouk University in Irbid, the project has developed higher education courses on community-based psychosocial support. These further training courses focus on strengthening the psychosocial competencies of university graduates and specialists, for example doctors, nurses, social workers and school counsellors working in host communities.
- In cooperation with the project, Yarmouk University and the University of Jordan offer academic courses on community-based psychosocial support for around 50 graduates and specialists each year.
- In Zarqa, Mafraq and Sahab, employees from over 30 initiatives and associations have received structured training to improve their psychosocial services. Films and brochures have been produced to inform Syrian refugees and Jordanian host communities about the wide range of services on offer.
- The state health centres in Zarqa, Mafraq and Sahab provide psychosocial services for women who have been victims of violence. They also offer psychosocial services for Syrian and Jordanian school children. Meetings are held with community-based organisations to coordinate services.
- In order to ensure employee welfare and self-care, the Ministry of Health now conducts online staff surveys and has a training room, a manual and training modules, and a strategy on employee welfare and self-care.
- An average of 100 people from different departments take part in the dialogue events.