• Main topic: training Syrian refugees to provide a mental health intervention to fellow Syrian refugees.
  • Target group: Syrian refugees
  • Locations: Syria and countries hosting refugees from Syria, a.o. Pakistan and Kenya
  • Role of ARQ International: research program concentrating on low intensity interventions and community based support


Scaling up psychological interventions

Providing mental health care to refugees is a great challenge in countries receiving high numbers of refugees. This challenge is also felt by the countries hosting refugees from Syria. There is a lack of Arabic speaking mental health professionals to provide mental health care on the scale that is needed.

The STRENGTHS-project trains Syrian refugees to provide scalable psychological interventions to fellow Syrian refugees. The interventions are developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The interventions are short and can be provided by trained helpers who are not specialized in mental health. The interventions target symptoms of common mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder. 

STRENGTHS is a European project financed by Horizon 2020 and led by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. For more information:


Watch this video about the project

In this video you will learn more about the project, who we target and what tools we work with to help them. The video has been developed by the consortium, of which ARQ International is proud to be a part.