Blowing off Steam
03 February 2015
On Wednesday 28 of January, the psychosocial support (PSS) unit of Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD)-Legal Aid headed to Al Ascharifieh to provide a psychosocial support session for Christian Iraqi refugees residing in a church in the area.
These people are highly stressed because of the forced flight to Jordan upon the crisis in Iraq. As part of the call of the Minister of Social Affairs to increase the response to the needs of Iraqi refugees, ARDD-Legal Aid participated in the Iraqi PSS sub-steering committee to address the needs of vulnerable Iraqis located in Jordan’s urban areas. As part of this committee, ARDD-Legal Aid’s PSS unit provides psychosocial group sessions for Iraqi Christian refugees who live in churches.
This first session was about dealing with stress. As soon as we had arrived to the hall of the church, many beneficiaries came to the room and started helping to change the room from a bedroom to an activity room where we could held the session. In the beginning we could feel the tension and the shyness of the people. Soon the room was filled with people, mostly men and some women and children. Everyone listened carefully to the introduction of Dr. Lina and the ice was broken as soon as she started introducing herself and explaining the purpose of the day. The tense faces of the people became more relaxed and the attitude looked more comfortable. This session aimed to give the beneficiaries some room to express their worries and difficulties, reduce stress, teach them some stress reducing techniques such as the importance of building up social support systems and networks, activeness such as participating in sports and games as well as calming breathing techniques.
During the session there was a good balance between the participants carefully listening to the information in addition to a very active discussion and the sharing of experiences.
“We really enjoyed the session”
“We can start applying the methods we spoke about to reduce stress”
“I would like to have further communication with you individually, Dr Lina”
Overall the discussion with these Iraqi Refugees was very insightful and ARDD-Legal Aid gained a greater understanding of the issues that they are facing. In future sessions this feedback will be used to improve the psychosocial support that ARDD-Legal Aid offers.