Mental Health in Lebanon: Challenges and Strategies for Coping
Mental health is a major concern in Lebanon, particularly given the ongoing economic and political crisis in the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 25% of the population in Lebanon suffers from a mental health disorder, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (1). In this article, we'll explore some of the challenges facing mental health in Lebanon, and provide some strategies for coping.
Challenges Facing Mental Health in Lebanon
The current economic and political crisis in Lebanon has led to increased stress and anxiety among the population. The country has been facing a severe shortage of basic resources such as food, medicine, and fuel, and many people have lost their jobs and homes. The COVID-19 pandemic has also added to the stress and uncertainty.
All of these factors have contributed to an increase in mental health disorders in Lebanon. Unfortunately, mental health services in the country are severely limited. The country has only a few psychiatric hospitals, and many people cannot afford to seek treatment. The stigma surrounding mental health issues also makes it difficult for people to seek help.
Strategies for Coping with Mental Health Issues in Lebanon
Despite the challenges facing mental health in Lebanon, there are some strategies that can help people cope with mental health issues. Here are a few:
Practice Self-Care:Taking care of yourself is an important part of maintaining good mental health. This can include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and staying active. Even small acts of self-care, such as taking a walk or meditating, can make a big difference.
Seek Support: If you are struggling with mental health issues, it's important to seek support. This could be from a mental health professional, a support group, or a trusted friend or family member. There are a number of organizations in Lebanon that offer mental health services, including the Lebanese Psychiatric Society and Embrace, a nonprofit organization that provides mental health support.
Reduce Stress: While it may be difficult to avoid stress altogether, there are some strategies that can help reduce stress levels. This can include setting boundaries with work and social media, practicing relaxation techniques, and finding healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercise or spending time in nature.
Educate Yourself: Learning more about mental health and mental health disorders can be helpful in managing your own mental health. There are a number of resources available online, including the WHO's Mental Health Atlas and the Mental Health Foundation's website.
Mental health is a major concern in Lebanon, but there are strategies that can help people cope with mental health issues. These strategies include practicing self-care, seeking support, reducing stress, and educating yourself about mental health. By taking these steps, you can take control of your mental health and improve your overall well-being.
World Health Organization. (2019). Mental Health Atlas - 2017 Country Profiles: Lebanon. https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/profiles-2017/LBN.pdf?ua=1