Low Intensity Family Support for Syrian Refugees in an LMIC

Project Site Name:  Medeniyet University, Turkish Red Crescent

Project Site Location:  Istanbul, Turkey

UIC CGH Faculty Contact: Stevan Weine, MD

Project/Activity Summary:

The prolonged Syrian refugee crisis has displaced 3.1 million refugees to Turkey, with the vast majority not living in camps and with no access to mental health resources. This project develops and pilot tests a novel model for helping urban refugee families in LMICs with little to no access to evidence-based mental health services, by delivering a transdiagnostic family intervention for common mental disorders in health sector and non-health sector settings.

The project forms a Family Support Design Team (FSDT) to adopt the PM+ and CAFES manuals into a family support (FS) intervention for use with Syrian refugee families by lay providers in community sites and nurses in clinical sites using a four-session multiple family group format. The project pilots FS with families in community and clinical sites, and then through observations and qualitative interviews, assesses FS’s feasibility, fidelity, the impact of context and local capacity, the experiences of intervention delivery, and practitioner and organizational perspectives on scale up. The project conducts pre, immediate post, and 3-month post assessments of the Syrian refugee families who received FS through all the sites, to demonstrate the kind of pre-post changes that have been reported for comparable interventions and to determine key parameters of interest with sufficient accuracy and precision. Project collaborators include the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Medeniyet University, the Centre for Global Health at the University of Prishtina and 3 community and 3 clinical organizations in Istanbul.