Supporting Mental Health in Lebanon
Providing medical aid to a sanctuary for patients struggling with mental illness
Mental health is essential healthcare! Amid all the struggles that Lebanon and its citizens have endured over the years, from war to famine, fires, refugee crises, economic collapse and a devastating explosion, there are hundreds of thousands of people who are silently struggling with mental health issues. Far too many people are combating depression, substance addiction, multiple-personality disorders, or anxiety on their own and not receiving the specialized care they need to help them survive and thrive.
Anera’s most recent partner in Lebanon is the Psychiatric Hospital of the Cross, often known simply as Deir Al Salib. The hospital is run by the Franciscaines de la Croix du Liban, a faith-based organization that specializes in providing mental health services and senior care.
Their facilities offer round-the-clock care to thousands of people through their 19 residences and hospitals. Anera is supporting their work during these difficult times in Lebanon. We believe that none of us are truly well unless all of us are well. Supporting these frontline healthcare workers is our humanitarian duty. Fortunately, our partners and donors like Americares also share this belief!
Americares has realized this commitment through a generous shipment of donated medical supplies. All of the donated items are currently in short supply in Lebanon and have become extremely expensive. Providing an institution like the Psychiatric Hospital of the Cross with these supplies helps the hospital sustain operations and enhance their services and patient care.
This medical aid was fated to reach its destination, despite exceptional setbacks and delays. The shipment was in port at the time of the August explosion. It was salvaged from the devastation after the blast, and cleaned and inspected before distribution.
The Psychiatric Hospital of the Cross is a pillar of mental health services in Lebanon. With over 1,000 beds, it is the largest hospital of its kind in Lebanon. Since it was established in 1951, it has been the only hospital that specializes exclusively in psychiatric diseases and disorders in Lebanon.
“We have several buildings and dorms for patients, segregated for males and females,” explains Sister Mary Makhlouf, head of the hospital. “We now have a dedicated quarantine unit for isolating patients before transferring them to the hospital for treatment.” She tells us:
“Now more than ever, we need the support of people like you.”
“We are in constant need, as we often face shortages of medications and supplies. We never had shortages of personal protective equipment like masks, gloves and sterilizers, and, most importantly, respirators, as we do today.”
To keep its doors open, the hospital depends on donors like the World Health Organization, Americares and Anera, especially since government funding is inadequate to sustain their operations.
The hospital will use the medical supplies to replenish its stocks, and distribute a portion to its affiliated healthcare centers across the country. And it is providing the donated hygiene kits to its patients in need.
Sister Makhlouf says, “Like all nonprofit institutions, we are facing severe financial difficulties."
"We are in constant need of food and personal hygiene rations, especially in light of the rapidly growing spread of the coronavirus.”
Thanks to a generous donation of medical aid from Americares, Anera has distributed medical supplies, including saline solutions, lactated ringers solutions, syringes, sharp collectors and needles to healthcare providers in Lebanon where these items are needed most.