Physical health is critical for our survival in this world, but it isn’t the only thing we should be concerned about! Because mental health is just as vital, if not more so than physical health, and the two are linked! Mental health is important for everyone, whether they are children or adults. Because there are millions of adolescents and adults battling with their mental health throughout the Middle East, and the more awareness and conversations we have in our society about it, the more people will become aware of this essential topic.
This time, though, we will concentrate on the youth, particularly in Lebanon. The country’s economic and health systems have been hit by a number of disasters. For example, as a result of the 2019 banking crisis, all Lebanese people now lack access to personal savings or funds.
Furthermore, the Beirut port explosion on Aug. 4, 2020, displaced 300,00 people, injured many, and left 80 percent of the population with PTSD. Then there’s the larger issue, which we’ve been seeing in Lebanon for a long time: a sense of political instability in which new governments are reformed on a regular basis. As a result of these cases, a large portion of the population, particularly the youth, is battling mental health issues. Not to forget COVID-19 ramifications, high unemployment rates that affect families, as well as electricity, medicine, and food shortages, are all major contributors to the issue. What’s make it worse is there’s a lack of understanding about mental health issues and suicide prevention strategies in local public schools.
For these reasons, the Beirut-based NGO Elgorithm has launched a campaign involving the public and other NGOs in the country to give free mental health programs to public and private schools.
According to Elgorithm, (based on recent data from the Child Mind Institute in 2019), 90 percent of Lebanese youth are battling with their mental health, while only six percent have access to mental health care. This Beirut-based NGO’s main goal is to work with the Ministry of Education to develop a long-term program in the Lebanese curriculum to give access to mental health services to 350,000 students in the country.
Elgorithm is unique because of the enthusiasm with which they work and the services they provide, such as basic education, cash, food, and shelter support to keep children from dropping out of school. They did so by creating a digital platform in which students and instructors in Lebanon’s public schools will have free access to mental health programs as well as a directory of protective services accessible around the country.
Mental health awareness is extremely important to the Lebanese people, who have been through a lot of hardships in recent years, and many children, according to the statistics, have been struggling with their mental health. This is due to the fact that they lack access to platforms that foster mental health programs. Thus, Elgorithm’s purpose is admirable in every way, since they advocate for mental health programs to be integrated into the Lebanese curriculum in order to assist more children. The notion that we are not alone is the one thing that binds us together and motivates us to get through the hard days, and what more beautiful thing can someone do for another person than being there for them and offering assistance?