Monitoring and Research

We attach great importance to regularly measuring the results of our work so that we may maintain our high quality standards. We are also researching the effectiveness of psychological and social services in conflict regions. Below are three studies that will help us better understand which programs are most effective.

Knowledge of Mental Health Professionals in Kurdistan-Iraq

The number of facilities offering psychological help to people in Iraq and Jordan increased by 14 percent between 2013 and 2015. In cooperation with the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin we examined how these specialists are selected, trained and what kind of support they can provide.

After interviewing 31 experts and over 200 clients, we found that only half of the professionals had completed more than a week of training and most of them did not use any specific techniques.

This study demonstrates the great need for specialist qualification of professionals in the region.

Depression and Trauma Among Children in Syria

Together with Syrian partner organizations, we examined the situation of children in refugee camps in northern Syria. We wanted to know what mental health problems children have and what kind of therapies they require.

We surveyed 71 children between the ages of 10 and 15 and found that more than a third had symptoms of depression. Another third showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Children suffering from depression or PTSD require specialized and long-term care. However, the application of such care requires specialists and appropriately trained personnel which are currently lacking in Syria. As a result of this newfound knowledge we have begun to focus on the specialized training of local psychologists and social workers.

Psychological Consequences of Violence in Syria

Due to the security situation in Syria, there are virtually no investigations into the psychological effects of violence on the population in the country. That’s why we conducted an online survey and interviewed 387 people from different parts of the country about their experiences and their emotional state.

The study found a direct correlation between the extent of the violence an individual experienced and the state of their mental health. Almost half of the respondents had symptoms of mental trauma. More than a quarter showed a slight risk of suicide.

The results, published in the journal Transcultural Psychiatry, highlight the enormous need for psychological support among Syrian survivors.

How You Can Support

With your donation you support the building of a peaceful and free society in Iraq and Syria. They make long-term and visible changes possible for people who want to find their way back to a healthy and independent life after violence and war. You can find the donation form here.


Stephanie Schweininger
Monitoring & Research Coordinator