Lina Haddad Kreidie, Sara Sakhi, Farah Wardani, Karima Anbar

Drama therapy as a mental health intervention for women in the shatila refugee camp, Lebanon

Abstract: Shatila camp is the largest refugee camp in Lebanon and home to many refugees needing psychological support as a result of war and postmigration stress. However, there is a severe lack of mental healthcare resources and strong social stigma towards psychological and psychiatric interventions. This field report describes four drama therapy programmes implemented by Intisar Foundation between 2018 and 2019 in Shatila camp. The first is an intensive five-phase programme that tackled trauma and improved wellbeing. The second, a follow-up, is a long-term programme aimed at providing continued community support. Approaches and techniques used in drama therapy are presented. The impact of the programmes is shown through compiled qualitative findings from over 50 interviews, focus group discussions and subsequent programme reports. The findings include emotional regulation, benefits of movement and exercise, a sense of belonging and changes within the family after the intervention. Drama therapy can be an effective psychological intervention for refugee women as it provides inclusive care and avoids stigma.

Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas

The University of Chicago