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Fostering responsive mental health systems in the Syrian refugee crisis (STRENGTHS)
Start date: Jan 1, 2017, End date: Dec 31, 2021 PROJECT  ONGOING 

STRENGTHS aims to provide effective community-based health care implementation strategies to scale-up the delivery and uptake of effective mental health interventions in different country contexts. The current refugee crisis across Europe and the Middle East effects both individual refugees’ psychological well-being, as they face extreme stressors in their flight from their home country, but also has large effects on the healthcare systems of countries housing refugees. In reponse to this crisis, the STRENGTHS project aims to provide a framework for scaling-up the delivery and uptake of effective community-based mental health strategies to address the specific needs of refugees within and outside Europe’s borders.STRENGTHS will outline necessary steps needed to integrate evidence based low-intensity psychological interventions for common mental disorders into health systems in Syria’s surrounding countries taking up the majority of refugees (Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan), a LMIC (Egypt) and European countries (Germany, Switzerland the Netherlands and Sweden). The consortium is a unique partnership between academics, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international agencies and local partners with the responsibility to provide and scale-up evidence-based mental health and psychosocial support interventions for refugees.Key preparatory steps in the local political, regulatory and governance processes for uptake and scaling-up of the intervention and key contextual and system-related factors for integration will be validated for the real-life impact on the responsiveness of the system. The low-intensity interventions and training materials will be adapted and implemented in Syrian refugees within Syria’s surrounding countries taking up the majority of refugees (Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan), a LMIC (Egypt) and European countries (Germany, Switzerland the Netherlands and Sweden). STRENGTHS will disseminate and promote ‘buy-in’ of a validated framework for large-scale implementation of the low intensity interventions to providers of health and social services, policy makers and funding agencies.
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