Thank You, Deeply

Dear Syria Deeply Community,

Syria Deeply was born to fill a gap that had been keeping people in Syria, and their stories, isolated from the rest of the world. Our mission was to highlight Syrian voices and perspectives through independent journalism that made sense of Syria’s complex and brutal conflict. For nearly six years, we have kept a close watch on both the humanitarian crisis and the political factors – global and domestic – that were escalating the war.

The lessons learned from Syria’s war will define modern conflict and how it is resolved. Conversely, the approaches for peacebuilding that have worked elsewhere will be vital to Syria’s future.

With this in mind, we are taking a new approach to delivering on our original mission. Syria Deeply’s coverage and editorial team will be folded into a new endeavor: Peacebuilding Deeply.

We are humbled by the engagement and dedication of Syria Deeply’s readers and contributors over the years. Because of your support, Syria Deeply evolved from a news site to a platform to exchange ideas and bridge perspectives on vital issues.

Syria Deeply’s trove of existing coverage will remain available through an archived version of the site. We also plan to launch special initiatives focused specifically on Syria, from dedicated research projects and reporting tracks to roundtable discussions around the world.

Though we now have a new home, our expertise and passion about Syria will be a constant. We are always willing to share our knowledge, answer questions and help advance the discussion about a country and people incredibly close to our hearts.

Thank you,

Lara Setrakian, CEO and Co-founder, News Deeply
Alessandria Masi, Managing Editor, Syria Deeply

Mental Health Issues the Most Underreported Problem in Syria – Doctor

The World Health Organization estimates that 2 million or more Syrians are suffering from mild to moderate mental problems.

Written by Katarina Montgomery Published on Read time Approx. 2 minutes

The least reported and most underappreciated problem in the Syrian conflict is the country’s severe mental health crisis, which will have consequences for decades to come, a leading mental health professional has warned.

“Mental health disorders related to trauma and stress are now widespread and psychotic disorders are on the rise as a result of the destruction of all sources of well-being in the country,” Dr. Jalal Nofal told Syria Deeply.

Right from the early days of the conflict, in 2011, medical professionals warned that mass displacement, the trauma of daily exposure to violence and the deaths of loved ones were leading to a mental health epidemic among Syrians.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 350,000 Syrians are currently suffering from severe mental disorders while another 2 million or more are suffering from mild to moderate mental problems such as anxiety and depression disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD can be caused by experiencing an extreme shock or living through a difficult or painful experience. Symptoms, such as angry outbursts, depression, becoming withdrawn and aggressive and nightmares, often start to manifest themselves a few months after the incident.

Dr. Nofal, who specializes in the treatment of traumatized children and was detained by the Assad government four times before fleeing to Turkey, said ensuring access to health care is nearly impossible with Syria’s medical infrastructure on the “brink of collapse” and more than half of its hospitals destroyed or damaged.

“Syria doesn’t have resources in place for therapy because we don’t have a real psychosocial support system. Hospitals inside Syria are under the authority of the Syrian regime, so patients don’t speak about their symptoms out of fear of retaliation,” Dr. Nofal said.

He added that Syria’s mental health epidemic transcended its borders. The more than 3 million Syrians who have sought refuge in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq who are struggling simply to survive lack the resources or means to seek help for their mental health issues.

“The inability to work in host countries, with refugees surviving on aid distribution, leads to alienation, despair, anxiety and depression. As a result, we are seeing a surge in domestic violence among Syrians, between wives and husbands, parents against children, and amongst children themselves,” he said.

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