There are approximately 265,000 child refugees in Jordan who have escaped the war in Syria. According to data collected by UNICEF, UNHCR, IMC and others on the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of violence-affected children in Jordan, 50% of children suffer from nightmares, sleeping disorders and other forms of psychological distress since the conflict began, such as clinically significant levels of anxiety, PTS symptoms, and displacement stress.
Syrian youth are concerned about tensions with host adolescents, bullying and intimidation, feelings of loss, anger and aggression, nightmares and sleeping problems, sadness, witnessing and experiencing family violence and child abuse, constant worry, war-related fears, education concerns and issues of self-esteem. While refugee boys show more trouble-making behavior, girls, being vulnerable to early marriage and pregnancy, harassment and sexual abuse, show strong emotional distress, self-mutilation, and isolation due to safety concerns and lack of opportunities. Because of the widespread violence, bullying and harassment between Jordan and Syrian students between the school shifts, many Syrian students have stopped going to school, citing discrimination and harassment as a main reason. Against this background, UNICEF’s Child Protection Working Group identified in 2014 as a key protection concern the active recruitment of children under 18 by numerous armed groups for combat and non-combat roles, which puts the children at great risk of psychological distress, death or injury. An increase in family tension, domestic violence and child abuse combined with hesitation of children to disclose emotional difficulties to their overburdened parents undermine family support and make self-empowering coping tools for children even more crucial.
In order to support the well being of children, teachers and frontline workers who take care of children on a daily basis in difficult circumstances also need to be supported in maintaining their own well being. The 2014 IASC mapping in Jordan (WHO and Ministry of Health) also emphasized the need to develop effective strategies to integrate Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support in educational/school settings, to build capacity of additional mental health staff due to a gap in human resources, and to provide self-care, stress management and psycho-social support for frontline workers and caregivers of children, which is currently not provided in 72% of organizations.
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Co-funded by the European Union
Implemented by Crossarts and IAHV
These project pages are created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of IAHV and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.