Psychosocial Interventions

Community interventions play a role in mental health prevention and treatment and IDRAAC has also worked on several community interventions that provide psychosocial support to different groups and is working on evaluating the effectiveness of these interventions and factors that play a role in this area. 

IDRAAC worked on a classroom-based intervention for PTSD, Depression and Anxiety targeting Lebanese and Syrian students attending 31 schools in Lebanon. 
Moreover, in order to study the effectiveness of the intervention on developing resilience building strategies among students, genetic testing will be done to study the variability in response to war-related traumatic events. 
This study will advance the field of developmental psychology by investigating the molecular genetics of individual differences in Syrian refugee children’s response to acute war-related traumatic experiences and variability in response to psychological intervention of both Lebanese and Syrian children as a function of genetic factors. It will also allow to understand the interplay between mental disorders, the environment and genetic factors. 

Addressing the Needs of the Total Assyrian Community in Lebanon 
IDRAAC received a grant from the French Embassy in Lebanon to implement a project aiming at addressing the needs of the whole Assyrian community: the Assyrian Refugee community and the Assyrian Lebanese Hosting community. The project targeted all the age groups from the Assyrian community: the children, the adults and the elderly through providing mental health and psychosocial support and capacity building to the Assyrian community workers. The project consisted of different activities which served as a means to improve the health and mental health status of this group which has suffered from the effects of war and displacement.
The following activities will be evaluated:

- The classroom-based sessions to build resilience and positive coping among students which was implemented in Assyrian schools to check the improvement in the aggression, hyperactivity, attitudes, behaviors and impulsivity of the students as well as anxiety and depression.
- The positive parenting program where Assyrian community workers provided sessions to mothers in the Assyrian community. IDRAAC is currently analyzing the effectiveness of these interventions and the decrease in children’s psychosocial problems after the intervention (emotional, conduct, hyperactivity /inattention and peer relationship problems) as well as parenting methods (decrease in shouting, hitting of the children, punishment, scolding the child).

Biological Pathways of Risk and Resilience in Syrian Refugee Children BIOPATH
IDRAAC is conducting a prospective study funded by The National Institutes of Health NIH -USA and in collaboration with Queen Mary University London and Médecins du Monde which aims at investigating the biological underpinnings of individual differences in refugee children’s response to acute war-related trauma exposure. This project studies genetic moderations of interventions related to mental health wellbeing of Syrian and Lebanese children by measuring pre-post changes in psychological variables and identifying specific gene variants in children who are more/less responsive to interventions. This project allows to understand the relationship between genetic, social, psychological and biological factors in relation to resilience.  

Wellbeing of Syrian Refugee Families- mainly Women and Youth-in Lebanon: An Integrated Intervention
IDRAAC, in partnership with UNFPA and with the support of the Ministry of Social Affairs implemented a mental health project funded by the U.S. government to provide psychosocial support to women and youth. This project targeted both Syrian refugees and the Lebanese hosting communities and aimed to improve the mental and social wellbeing of Syrian refugee families in Lebanon and enable the Lebanese government to provide support. As a result, the project built the capacity of refugee mothers in developing alternative strategies for parenting children with the goal of decreasing violence and physical abuse towards their children and women benefited from gender-based violence sessions delivered by trained social workers. Students and teachers were also trained on resilience building techniques through a classroom-based intervention to build resilience and positive coping among students which was implemented in schools.
IDRAAC is investigating the results of this multi-faceted project by studying the improvement in PTSD, Depression and Anxiety. IDRAAC is also measuring mental disorders outcomes, personal competence, sensitivity, childhood adversities, positive home experiences, war trauma and predictors of PTSD.  

Turning Teachers Into Educators of Tolerance and Conflict Resolution
This project was implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) and funded by the US Embassy in Lebanon. The aim of this project was to improve the capacity of public school teachers to become mediators of behavioral change and contribute to build tolerance, decrease violence and conflicts among Syrian and Lebanese students. This classroom-based intervention consisted of 13 sessions which were conducted in public schools distributed in the Cazas of Aley, Metn and Sidon. The teachers were trained in order to enhance the capacity of public schools educators to build tolerance, and manage aggression and impulsivity among Syrian and Lebanese students .The teachers were selected as mediators of change as they play a critical role in children’s lives and are familiar with their world and needs.
IDRAAC is studying the improvement in PTSD, Depression and Anxiety. IDRAAC is also measuring mental disorders outcomes, personal competence, sensitivity, childhood adversities, positive home experiences, war trauma and predictors of PTSD.  

The School Program for Building Resilience and Coping
IDRAAC implemented this project which aimed at teaching school-age children and adolescents emotional, behavioral and cognitive tools to face stressful situations in daily life and was funded by the European Union. Teachers were trained to become educators about resilience and coping and the program took place over 15 weekly classroom sessions that are incorporated in the curriculum of the academic year. 
The project took place in 17 schools, 10 private and 7 public where trained teachers delivered the classroom-based intervention.  Questionnaires were administered to students, teachers, and parents and IDRAAC is currently assessing the effectiveness of this intervention among the students, their teachers and parents on various aspects including personal competence, coping skills, anxiety, depressive symptoms, behavioral problems, aggression as well as exposure to stressful events. 

Psychosocial Interventions
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