Our Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) team on Lesvos provides services that are focused on the mental wellbeing of people on the move. With our work in our medical clinic inside the camp and in a community centre outside we contribute to improved access to basic mental health care. We refer people who need other types of (specialised) care to other actors in order to make sure that every person gets quality mental health care.

Psychological needs

In the camp on Lesvos there are around 1900 people, as of the beginning of 2023. People live there whilst they wait for the result of their asylum procedure. As a result, people often stay for months or even years in legal limbo. There is a great need for psychosocial support in Mavrovouni camp.

Besides dealing with traumatic events in the past and the daily social challenges due to living in the camp, many people worry about their future: the waiting and uncertainty about when and where they will be able to start a new life. This leads to a lot of stress. We see many people suffering from panic attacks, having sleeping problems or struggling with excessive worrying and/or sadness. We also see people with suicidal tendencies on a daily basis. Our MHPSS team, consisting of  mental health professionals, offers various forms of support focused on stabilising and improving people’s mental wellbeing.


The MHPSS programme is closely connected to our medical program, as people who are dealing with mental health complaints often look for medical support first. One mental health professional is present during our medical shifts in the evening and on weekends. They are part of the medical team and identify patients with mental health problems. The MHPSS support during our medical shifts is focused on psychological first aid and crisis support. Being present during the medical shifts in the evening, we offer accessible mental health care when no other MHPSS actors are present in the camp.

Follow-up consultations

In addition to offering initial psychosocial support during our medical shifts, we offer individual follow-up conversations with our mental health professionals. In these follow-ups, we assess the mental health needs of the patient and offer various tools to support them. This can be through offering a listening ear, providing psycho-education or sharing tools for people to cope better with their challenges. Focussing on empowerment and resilience is essential. We see that people stabilise and feel better because of these follow-ups. When specific specialist care is needed, we can refer to other organisations. By working with other organisations, we contribute to adapted care for patients with specific needs for the duration of their stay in the camp.


The members of our MHPSS team regularly perform community outreach inside the camp. During this time they check on their service users, identify potential new people who would be interested in receiving psychosocial support and/or raise awareness of the activities of the Boat Refugee Foundation team.

vrouwen in gesprek met een vrijwilliger in kamp Mavrovouni


Our MHPSS team contributes to the improved knowledge of mental health and psychosocial support by offering training to camp residents and professionals of other organisations on topics such as the psychosocial impact of migration, coping mechanisms and how to interact with people who have gone through traumatic events. 


Our team is always in close contact with other actors, such as UNHCR, the Hellenic National Public Health Organisation (EODY), and MHPSS actors such as Doctors Without Borders (MSF), International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Vulnerability Focal Point. 


It is only with your help we can continue to support the displaced people in the camp. We warmly encourage you to contribute and support our psychosocial mission with a donation.

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