Alight’s communication and engagement team visited a group of displaced Afghans on 3rd October 2022. The team was accompanied by Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University (STMU) Islamabad faculty to conduct mental health assessment and counselling.
The natural occurrence of stress and anxiety amongst displaced individuals was discussed with the group. The power of sharing, activities and a positive outlook was emphasized, and the measures that can be taken by them on their own, in the spirit of self-help, was focused on.
The counsellors explained how welcoming and supporting displaced individuals was a natural instinct for Pakistanis, as they themselves had witnessed many displacements in the country’s history.
Many stories were shared within the group, which got the conversations flowing, and uplifted the atmosphere.
The Afghans shared how they had left various jobs and professions, and wished to utilize their time well, while they were in Pakistan. They requested a continuation of the program in some form.
A total of 5 psychosocial support sessions were conducted. The group appreciated the tips and strategies shared. The group agreed that they had the capacity to teach their own children, and could undertake an education program to fulfill schooling needs. Also, the strength of prayer and supporting each other was emphasized.
The psychosocial support sessions were a useful and memorable closing activity of a key Alight program.