Mental Health and Psychosocial Support
Ongoing conflict in Libya has a negative effect on the psychosocial wellbeing of Libyan people and migrants alike. The situation for migrants and refugees is of concern due to their lack of access to health and psychosocial services, and the overall quality and scarcity of mental health services available in Libya. Migrants experience abnormal stressors though their migratory journey including perilous travel, exploitation, arbitrary detention, trafficking and smuggling, rape, violence and abuse, rejection and social isolation, lack of community and family support, and insecure living conditions. Individuals can acquire mental health disorders, such as depression or psychosis.
In Libya, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) needs are chronically neglected due to longstanding challenges that include: shortage of qualified specialists like psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers in the workforce, weak communitybased and specialized services, lack of mental health facilities and psychosocial support centres throughout the country, lack of support to existing facilities, and social stigma towards people with mental health disorders.
IOM has been providing MHPSS services throughout Libya since 2011, offering counselling, group support activities, creative and art-based activities, sociorelational and cultural activities, recreational activities, psychiatric and psychological assessment and consultations, and referrals to migrants in detention centres, households and at disembarkation points.
IOM follows the IASC guidelines on MHPSS in Emergency Settings and has developed methodologies to extend support to populations on the move. MHPSS services are often coordinated and delivered jointly with health and protection interventions to ensure a comprehensive and integrated approach when addressing the needs of migrant populations.