Mental Health as a Priority for UN in Lebanon during COVID-19

UN in Lebanon

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Lebanon at a time of instability, not only affecting physical health, but also increasing stress and anxiety. Those population with vulnerability during this pandemic today are frontline healthcare workers, older people, adolescents and young people, those with pre-existing mental health conditions and those caught up in conflict and crisis. Within this context, the UN in Lebanon worked closely with the National Mental Health Programme in the Ministry of Public Health towards developing a mental health and psychological support action plan as part of the national response to the COVID-19 outbreak, using an integrated approach to mental health.

In line with this action plan and in close coordination with the MOPH-National Mental Health Programme, the UN and partners raised awareness on ways to cope with stress and promote mental Health, integrated mental health awareness within the training materials of health frontlines and non-health front liners, and trained an average of 380 front liners on guidelines for the provision of remote psychosocial support for children and caregivers with key messages related to stigma, coping with stress and safe identification and referral. 31,288 boys, girls and caregivers were sensitized to promote their psychosocial wellbeing and protection of their children. 5,975 children, parents and primary caregivers were provided with remote community based mental health and psychosocial support. The UN also shared psychosocial support kits for children in hospitals and distributed cognitive games for adults during quarantine. Leaflets and posters on coping with stress for persons in quarantine were also developed in partnership with the National Mental Health Programme.