Mental Health Support (MHPSS) mission
Our Mental Health Support (MHPSS) team on Lesvos offers help that is focused on the mental health of people on the run. By truly seeing people and being close, we want to contribute to compassion and human dignity.
There is a great need for psychological support in RIC Mavrovouni, the refugee camp on Lesvos where we work. Besides struggling with traumas, many people worry about their future; the long waiting and uncertainty lead to a lot of stress. In our clinic we see people with who suffer from panic attacks and suicidality almost every day. Our Mental Health Support (MHPSS) team, consisting of (voluntary) psychologists, social workers and nurses specialized in mental health care, offers various forms of support focused on increasing people’s mental capacity.
Support for adults
The MHPSS mission’s focus is on offering psychological support to adults. Individual conversations and group meetings are aimed at reducing stress and generating empowerment. The MHPSS mission is closely connected to our medical mission. People with mental health complaints usually come to our medical clinic first. Our medical team can refer them to our MHPSS team for individual conversations or group meetings.
We offer individual follow-up conversations with our psychologists and nurses specialized in mental health care. Through these follow-ups, we offer people psycho-education and concrete support methods to handle their complaints. We offer information and support that makes them self-reliant. The follow-up conversations are aligned with our group meetings: the people we treat individually can be referred to our groups for additional support. For specific specialist care we can refer to our partner organizations.
We offer two types of group meetings. The power of a group is that participants find support and a sense of recognition with each other. Using mindfulness and relaxation exercises, our Stress Relief groups are aimed at reducing psychological and psychosomatic complaints with people who experience a lot of stress. Our Wellbeing group invites people who experience problems due to traumas or hopelessness and worries about their future. Our focus is not on the problems, but on learning how to apply the skills and knowledge that people already possess. Using the Method for the Empowerment of Trauma Suvivors Open Group (METS OG), we discuss universal themes like connection, hope, identity, purpose and empowerment.
The METS OG method is based on positive psychology. In order to prevent opening up traumas that we cannot treat, we consciously do not probe too deeply into personal problems and stories. For many people the psychic scars are so deep, that a safe, stable basis would be needed before starting treatment. The camp is not the right place for this.
Last but not least, we offer coaching to interpreters who work in our ground team, resident volunteers from the camp who work as interpreter in our medical clinic. Translating medical consults and follow-up conversations is a challenging and often (emotionally) confrontational job. Through personal coaching and group intervision we take the time to offer our interpreters the space to talk about this. By providing them with practical support to handle work situations, personal wellbeing and other topics that come up, we support our interpreters directly and personally in the valuable work that they do.