Stories

“The nine session effect”

The context and hard conditions experienced by adolescents drives many of their mental health concerns. They can suffer in silence and are also afraid that they won’t be able to cope. 

In Jordan, Medair supports vulnerable refugees and Jordanians to grow, learn and thrive in good mental health.  Medair is committed to ensuring that they have access to mental health services.  

Medair’s psychosocial support sessions aim to address the past trauma that participants may have experienced because of conflict, violence, and economic challenges. The sessions help participants manage their feelings and build resilience. In sessions, peers work together to learn methods of coping on various subjects, including loss and grief, depression, anxiety, and understanding stress response. With teenagers, Medair’s team explains how their bodies can affect the way they feel and teaches them how to address and control stigma around physical, mental, and social health by using strategies for mental health.  

Mahmoud Al Jawarneh started his journey as a volunteer with Medair’s Psychosocial Support team in February 2022 in Irbid, Jordan. He was trained in Medair’s Psychosocial Support curriculum and in building facilitation skills. Mahmoud explained his experience as a session facilitator in Medair, “The session’s topics are close to the heart for all people, and the session’s participants have affected me the same as I affected them. The session topics bring me closer to people, now I can understand and feel their feelings. Through Medair’s sessions, I have realized the importance of addressing humanitarian needs and what this means.” 

Lama, is 16 years old, and is a Syrian refugee. She was in Mahmoud’s Psychosocial support group sessions, and with the sessions she improved her social and communications skills. She can now better express herself clearly.

Lama Hussam Almasry, 16 years PSS beneficiary.

Lama shared, “At the beginning of the sessions, I felt shy, and I didn’t share. It was my first time meeting these people, but after we talked and exchanged feelings, I felt like I already knew them before. Medair’s team explained the session titles and what we would cover, including, ‘me and my future’ and ‘me and my family.’ These themes come from our lives and are important, but the facilitator’s way of explaining made it easy for us to understand. They asked us questions that helped us to know ourselves. Before there was loss and darkness inside me, but the sessions knocked it out of me; they corrected some wrong thinking, and they taught us the acceptance of ourselves and others.” 

 

Mahmoud says he saw the teenagers develop more through the sessions. After they finished the programme, which is nine sessions, participants can see a change in themselves.  

 

Some sessions are for caregivers and parents and provide an opportunity for them to come together with their children. They work on improving communication skills, which helps to reduce gaps between children and their parents and caregivers. “The sessions have improved family communication,” pointed out Rama’s caregiver. 

“The lessons from the sessions will stay with me forever. I have learned how I should talk with parents, how I can help them, and how the relationship between us can be like a friendship. I want to say to my parents that I love you more than anything in the world, and I’m so glad to be your daughter,” Lama said. 

Some parents discovered the talent, dreams, problems, strengths, and weaknesses of their children in this session. 

Mahmoud Al Jawarneh, PSS volunteer, Irbid, Jordan.

Mahmoud shared that Medair’s Psychosocial Support creates awareness for participants. “Through group and individual psychosocial support sessions, they learn how to understand themselves and how to manage their feelings in life” he said. 

Medair aims to improve mental health and psychosocial well-being among the most vulnerable people in communities. 

 


Medair’s psychosocial support services in Jordan are funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and private donors. 

This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.