Evaluating a Mental Health Program for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
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AbstractMedecins sans Frontière, an international non-governmental organization, initiated a mental health program for Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon. To evaluate the impact of the program after its completion, focus groups were conducted with three target groups: (1) patients, (2) staff, and (3) local community stakeholders. Participants voiced overall satisfaction with the program. The program provided easy access, good quality care, decreased stigma, as perceived by participants, and revealed a sense of community contentedness. In addition, several short-term outcomes were achieved, such as increasing the numbers of patients visiting the center/ receiving mental health treatment. However, lack of planning for sustainability and proper procedures for hand-over of the program constituted a major downfall. Program discontinuation posed ethical dilemmas, common in provisional interventions in underprivileged refugee communities.
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