Psychosocial Disabilities in the Middle East

30th May 2018
Author: Laura Bolton

Where the term psychosocial disability was used in the literature it often was not defined. Among experts some felt it wasn’t an important distinction, one said it was a term rarely used in the field and a few agreed a broad definition that recognises exclusion. WHO disease burden estimates from 2015 provides data on substance use disorders, depressive disorder, anxiety disorders and idiopathic intellectual disability for all countries but the OPTs. Iraq show the highest burden followed by Yemen, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Data for OPTs is not available. Conflict and associated trauma has a major detrimental impact on psychosocial wellbeing, particularly post-traumatic stress. Other factors affecting mental health were little discussed in the literature identified for this brief report. In terms of service provision a general move away from psychiatric hospitals towards integrated service provision is common. Community-based services are also described. Lebanon seem to have better state-run services where other countries rely on NGOs and international organisation.

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Suggested Citation

Bolton, L. (2018) Psychosocial Disability in the Middle East, K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies


30th May 2018


Continent: Asia

Country: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria