Rima returned from Germany to Iraq in 2018. The 33-year-old shares her powerful story of resilience and transformation, and the support she received.
The married mother-of-three’s life took a tragic turn in 2013 when her son was killed in an explosion in a Baghdad market. After suffering from depression for two years because of this tragedy, Rima and her surviving family made the difficult decision to flee their home country in 2016 and seek safety, which they found in Germany. However, the journey to Germany was difficult, and initially, the family was placed in a refugee shelter. They were grappling with grief and depression because of their loss, and uncertain of their future.
Despite the hurdles, their situation gradually improved, and Rima gave birth to a baby girl. After residency was granted, the older children enrolled in school and regained stability.
However, the shadow of distress loomed as Rima’s mother-in-law fell ill, prompting the family to urge them to return to Iraq. Reluctant to go back, the stress took a toll on her husband, leading to his hospitalisation and a subsequent decline in his mental well-being. The challenges intensified with the tragic deaths of Rima’s father-in-law in 2021, thrusting the family into another period of instability as they returned to Baghdad.
After their return, Rima experienced a significant decline in her psychological well-being as she grappled with the challenges of readjusting to her old life amidst the ongoing instability and adversity faced by her family.
Amidst these hardships, Rima found hope through the Jiyan Foundation’s center in Baghdad. She sought out its services after seeing the positive transformation in her husband’s friend, who had received prior psychological support from the center.

"When she first came to us, Rima was hopeless about the future, and had trouble sleeping," says Hoor Adnan, a psychotherapist at the Jiyan Foundation in Baghdad. “However, she has made remarkable progress in just eight sessions and improved her sleep. We encouraged her to channel her energy towards her strengths and interests, such as her passion for sewing.”

Somatic problems—for example, different kinds of pain—are often symptoms of mental health challenges, and Rima is no exception. In cooperation with the therapist, our medical team offered her the necessary support and resources to manage her health effectively and maintain optimal well-being.

Rima's heartfelt message resonates with the importance of seeking psychological support when facing psychological crises. “Everyone has vulnerabilities,” she says. “These vulnerabilities should not be ignored; they need timely intervention to prevent mental health crises from worsening and leading to further repercussions.”

At Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights, the commitment to providing mental health, medical treatment, and supportive services is evident in Rima’s story. We support survivors of trauma, terror, domestic violence, and human rights violations, contributing to the rebuilding of lives in Iraq.

For privacy reasons, the client’s name was changed.

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The Jiyan Foundation’s impact is made possible through the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Johanniter International Assistance.

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