Iraq and Syria are regions with violent and tumultuous histories. The recent past has had an especially negative impact on the people living there. And, mental health treatment in the region is still very much taboo.

The challenge is that people who have survived torture and violence often suffer from complex illnesses and discomforts that can affect their physical, mental and socio-economic well-being.

This then initiates a cycle with long term consequences that affect not only the survivors, but also destroys familial structures, and negatively influences the development of future generations.

In order to process their violent experiences, survivors need reliable mental health care and access to justice.

Over the past 15 years, the Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights has sought to normalise mental-health treatment and psychotherapy in the region while also providing these services to survivors of trauma and violence.

Many of their beneficiaries are survivors of ISIS torture, gas attacks, and have lived through regimes of terror. Many more still live in refugee housing and IDP camps where life remains difficult. To help their beneficiaries heal, they provide various forms of therapy at 13 facilities throughout northern Iraq and Syria.

Over the next few years, Jiyan intends to hold mental health initiatives or events in major centres in Europe and the US. This TIE project will help Jiyan reach corporate sponsors who would want to associate themselves with Jiyan’s mission of promoting a better world through access to mental health. And as a result, help make these initiatives possible. The partnership would help promote the sustainability of the Jiyan Foundation’s operations so that they can continue to impact survivors in Iraq and Syria.