Mental health support

The mental well-being of individuals in Syria has faced significant challenges due to prolonged periods of crisis, displacement, and economic instability. Those affected have had to endure a multitude of stressors, including but not limited to exposure to violence, the painful separation from or loss of loved ones, substandard living conditions, financial hardship, food insecurity, loss of livelihoods, physical injuries, illnesses, and the lack of access to essential services such as healthcare, education, and social support.


Our research has discovered that 99% of IDPs in Idlib are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms due to the brutal conflict which has targeted civilians. Most of the people still alive in Idlib have either experienced a life-threatening event due to the conflict, or seen fatal violence. This has left severe mental scars.

Sadly of the hundreds of people inside Idlib we’ve interviewed only 1% are aware of any mental health services available to them. People in Idlib desperately need mental health provisions.

73% of refugees in Lebanon and Turkey are also experiencing PTSD symptoms and need desperate help.

Many Syrians experience frightening flashbacks, constant anxiety, outbursts of rage and memory loss due to the trauma they have endured. Without mental health support their suffering is only going to get worse.

Ahmads story

“I’m Ahmad, 24, from rural Aleppo. Displaced to Idlib due to heavy bombardment, my family and I were once sleeping when we heard the terrifying sound of a plane overhead, followed by bombs falling from the sky. We became trapped under rubble for 12 hours until The White Helmets rescued us. I was badly hurt, with head, throat, and leg injuries. I received some first aid at a field hospital, but due to the high number of casualties, my treatment was limited. My voice became weak and inconsistent due to my injuries, affecting my movement and speech.

I'm haunted by the memory of that airstrike, the fear of aircraft, displacement, and injustice. The darkness and cold under the rubble left me terrified of dark places. Despite physical help, I haven't received psychological support. I'm constantly afraid of the past and worry about losing loved ones or limbs to airstrikes. We need help to overcome this fear and pain from those 12 hours trapped under the rubble of our home.”


Syria Relief conduct psychosocial support sessions across Syria and neighbouring countries. In these sessions, our dedicated team assesses the needs of patients as they enter our clinic. Following this initial assessment, our team collaborates closely with specialised psychologists to create sessions that address the distinctive mental health needs of each patient. This approach ensures valuable support for all individuals impacted by the consequences of war, encompassing its multifaceted challenges and effects.


Women’s mental health 


The psychological trauma caused by living through war is devastating beyond words. Syria is facing a trauma epidemic. Experts believe that all of Syria’s mothers and women need some form of trauma counselling.

Syria Relief conducts psychosocial support sessions across Syria and neighbouring countries where we assess the needs of patients. Our team then coordinates with psychologists according to our patient's needs.

To ensure Syria's development, it's crucial to prioritise women's mental health, recognising their integral role.

Our 2023 report emphasises the vital importance of acknowledging women's perspectives and experiences in decision-making. Overlooking them can result in missed insights and solutions to complex challenges. Women bring unique viewpoints and priorities, including a focus on marginalised communities, social justice, and community well-being. Their inclusion promotes gender equality, challenges power structures, and fosters a more holistic understanding of conflicts.

Dunya’s story

Dunya, aged 43 had tolerated an abusive relationship for many years which left her in a state of complete psychological distress which was only exacerbated by the brutal and bloody war. Like millions of women around the world, Dunya was faced with the dilemma of losing her children or struggling to survive as a single mother.

Dunya is now undergoing the necessary psychosocial support; we have also implemented follow-up plans to ensure her wellbeing. In addition to this, she is now participating in our female empowerment courses and activities to support her psychosocial development.

The availability of centres and safe areas of communication and support are the most essential first steps to providing women like Dunya with a voice and a road to recovery.

"I tried to leave, but after three months of divorce I had to go back for the children. I couldn’t tolerate that he would beat and insult me in front of them; children are so impressionable”.

Establishing accessible centres and safe havens for communication and support represents a vital first stride toward facilitating mental health recovery for the people of Syria. When individuals no longer endure their suffering in silence, they gain empowerment and support one another in overcoming the mental health challenges caused by the conflict.