Action-Liban - Appel à Projets Action-Liban

Mental disorders, suicidal ideation, substance abuse and emigration choices in vulnerable populations residing in Lebanon during the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis – MIRABEL

MIRABEL Mental disorders, suicidal Ideation, substance abuse and emigRAtion choices in vulneraBlE populations in Lebanon during the covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis

In the wake of the Covid pandemic, but also facing soaring poverty and inequalities, local political instability, and ongoing regional conflicts, Lebanon stands today as a paradox of its own, being the country hosting the world’s highest number of refugees per capita, and also one of the world’s highest emigration countries.<br />This project will study how this context may influence mental health and family choices, such as migration but also fecundity, of Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

Aims and Objectives

The main goal of this research is to provide the first evidence on mental disorders, suicidal ideation, substance abuse and emigration choices in Syrian and Palestinian refugees, which are both vulnerable populations residing in Lebanon, during the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis. This overarching goal is divided into several intermediary objectives:<br /><br />1. To identify individuals at high risk of mental and substance disorders and suicidal ideation;<br /><br />2. To evaluate the association of socioeconomic and demographic factors such as age, gender, nationality and economic status with the occurrence of mental disorders, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation;<br /><br />3. To evaluate the association between Covid-19 risk exposure and the adoption of preventive health measures with the occurrence of mental disorders, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation;<br /><br />4. To study the socio-economic, demographic and mental health related factors associated with family decisions such as migration and fecundity among refugees residing in Lebanon;<br /><br />5. To estimate the consequences of further migration on these vulnerable populations, including on their mental health

Our estimatons will be based on a questionnairre survey collected from syrian and palestianian refugees. First, a sample of camps and housing ste will be selected, then refugees households will be sampled in each of them. Questionnaires will be answered by one adult respondant per household.

6 months later, a second wave will be collected online.

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In the wake of the Covid pandemic, but also facing soaring poverty and inequalities, local political instability, and ongoing regional conflicts, and finally enduring a financial crisis of historical magnitude, Lebanon stands today as a paradox of its own, being the country hosting the world’s highest number of refugees per capita, and also one of the world’s highest emigration rate. The accumulation of crises the country is currently facing, and the lack of prospects are likely to have a strong impact on the mental health of the entire population and induce emigration decisions. Our project builds on the assumption that the impact is particularly strong for the most disadvantaged groups, in particular refugees, that is to say both Palestinian refugees and recent Syrian refugees, but also for the Lebanese impoverished by the economic crisis. However, data on their mental health, economic and social situation and migration trajectories or prospects are lacking.

This research aims to address these issues by using data from surveys conducted in two waves among three subsamples of Palestinian refugees, Syrian refugees, and Lebanese citizens from deprived neighborhoods. The same survey tool will be used to pursue two complementary research goals, firstly monitoring mental health problems in these disadvantaged groups in Lebanon and second, tracking aspirations and actual migration, and studying how physical and mental health can determine migration decisions, and how these migrations can in turn affect these dimensions of health. The project will use an innovative survey tool that combines face-to-face collection, telephone, and internet. Besides, it will enable to run a longitudinal survey: respondents will be interviewed a second time after 12 months, including those who will have emigrated. The consortium is multidisciplinary, very experienced and displays complementary disciplines and skillsets. It will combine the clinical expertise of the local team working with these populations on a daily basis and the experience of French research teams working on both migrants’ health research and on the impact of the Covid-19 on mental health, also with a strong experience in migrant surveys. The project will benefit both Lebanon and Europe. In Lebanon, results will inform decision-makers, NGOs and international institutions working in Lebanon on the situation of populations weakened by the crisis. In France and in Europe it will participate to the better anticipation and design of reception policies and programs aimed at migrants of the Middle East.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Paul Dourgnon (Institut de Recherche et de Documentation en Economie de la Santé)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

Equipe Economie et Management des Organisations de Santé (U1219 de l'Inserm/UB) Inserm/UB
Irdes Institut de Recherche et de Documentation en Economie de la Santé
BAU Beirut Arab University

Help of the ANR 104,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: March 2022 - 18 Months

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