Great Success in Psychological Support Project Initiated for the Syrian Refugee Children in the Maltepe District of Istanbul (Progress Report for the First 10 Days)

Only if our Syrian little brothers and sisters are happy, then so are we

The psychological support project initiated for diagnosis and treatment of the post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) in Syrian refugee children proceeds at full steam. Even in the first ten days, the project “The War is Over, Now is Time to Recover Mental Health of Syrian Refugee Children in Maltepe” gained a great success in realizing its goals, which is executed by Maltepe District Governorship in association with Maltepe Municipality and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Sincerely welcomed at every door and seen off with gratitude from every door

Preparatory project activities were completed once project team was set up, project agreement was signed among partners, project ads-visibility materials get prepared and published. At the second stage, PTSD screening activities have been held with Syrian refugee children:

–  Visiting Syrian households,

– Raising awareness of Syrian families about emotional disorders such as PTSD,

–  Administering PTSD scale to Syrian children.

Screening mental disorders of the traumatized Syrian children

In order to screen actual PTSD levels of Syrian refugee children, we have recently home-visited 16 Syrian households with 48 children aged between 6-17 years old. In this study, 4 psychological counselor and 1 clinical psychologist were assigned to perform a PTSD reaction index scale (CPTS-RI). During the first 10 days, project team achieved to identify a severe level of PTSD symptomps in 13 Syrian children since severely traumatized with their past war and immigration experiences. Recent study also  found that 16 Syrian children were traumatized at mild level.Besides, parents of 4 Syrian children were convinced and supported to enroll their children in a Turkish school.

What is Next?

During the next 6 weeks, we intend to complete diagnostic activities by screening the total 354 Syrian children in Maltepe district. Having gone through with screening, we assume to identify almost 80 Syrian children with mild and severe levels of PTSD symptomps. Therefore, we will proceed to the next step, that is the treatment of PTSD cases through EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapy, which is recommended for the treatment of PTSD by World Health Organisation. The current literature shows that EMDR therapy is rather effective psychotherapy technique in the rehabilitation of PTSD symptopms, indicating a 70% success ratio. Based on these scholarly results, we hope to get a great achievement in treating the traumatized Syrian children in Maltepe.



The project news has had recent media coverage in national and local journals

It has aroused a great interest of national and regional press. Many introductory news were published on the project aims, method and processes in the well-known Turkish newspapers such as Milliyet and HaberTürk journals. The project has not only aroused media coverage but also has been invited to a scholarly meeting by the science board of the International City and Civil Society Organisations Summit. It is a great honour for the Maltepe District Governorship to become unique state organisation in this summit.


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