Strengthening psychosocial support in Jordanian host communities

Project description

Title: Psychosocial Support and Trauma Work in Jordan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of its Special Initiative 'Tackling the root causes of displacement, stabilising host regions, supporting refugees’.
Country: Jordan
Lead executing agency: Jordanian Ministry of Health
Overall term: 2017 to 2019



Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, people have been fleeing in search of safety, primarily in the neighbouring states. Of the nearly 673,000 registered Syrian refugees in Jordan, more than 81 per cent live in host communities outside the camps; most of them below the poverty line. Many refugees do not only have to come to terms with their experiences of war and displacement, but also have to cope with material losses and often the loss of loved ones. In addition, they are confronted with day-to-day challenges where they now live and face an uncertain future. Their past and new experiences feed their anxiety, cause stress and generate insecurity. Many refugees do not have adequate social networks or systems to fall back on to strengthen their individual, family and communal resilience.

Through the 2030 Agenda, the Jordan Response Plan to the Syria Crisis (JRPSC 2018–2020), the country’s National Mental Health Policy from 2011 and National Mental Health and Substance Use Action Plan 2018-2021, the Jordanian Government is committed to improving mental health and psychosocial support services in host communities. However, the healthcare system is barely able to meet the host communities' demand for professional services provided by experienced personnel.


Psychosocial support services provided by state and civil society actors in selected host communities in Jordan have improved quantitatively and qualitatively.



One aim of the project is to integrate psychosocial support services into the Comprehensive Health Centres in Sahab, Zarqa and Mafraq. Through the establishment of interdisciplinary teams, psychosocial support services for women, men, children and youth can reach the communities. The teams will be supported with special trainings in order to adequately address the needs in the communities. In order to support the provision of services in the long run, a strategy will be developed and implemented in a participatory way. 

Through Interdisciplinary Dialogue Sessions, the project promotes dialogue between relevant actors to support the understanding of psychosocial support services and to raise awareness on the importance of their provision. 

In cooperation with the University of Jordan in Amman and the Yarmouk University in Irbid, the project supports the integration of academic training courses on Community-based Psychosocial Support into higher education in Jordan. The short courses focus on strengthening the psychosocial competencies of graduates and professionals, e.g. doctors, nurses, social/community workers, or school counsellors, who are working in host communities. 

The project supports the integration of staff-care and self-care measures for health service providers of the Ministry of Health through trainings and guidelines.


In collaboration with GIZ, Yarmouk University in Irbid and the University of Jordan in Amman offer short courses in Community-based Psychosocial Support for around 50 graduates and experts (psychologists, doctors, nurses, social/community workers) per year, in order to improve the psychosocial support services that they provide to beneficiaries.

To promote the discourse on Psychosocial Support in the region, the project organised a Regional Symposium on Psychosocial Support in Academia, which brought almost 100 stakeholders together from academia, implementers, practitioners and government. Individual Dialogue Sessions on the occasion of UN Days further raise awareness on psychosocial support services for persons with disabilities, women, and youth. 

With the support of GIZ, the Ministry of Health is establishing a new unit for personnel and self-care. A manual compiling approaches and methodologies as well as new guidelines will help embed the topic structurally. In the long term, all 32,000 employees in the health care sector will benefit as a result.

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