December 5, 2023

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Innovative Moroccan-Libyan event shares lessons in  Peace and  mental Health

 Nezha Sadik & Zakaria El Hamel

An innovative new learning exchange experince took place online this Saturday and show a group of peacebuilders and civil society actors from Libya and Morocco sharing expertise and knowledge to learn more about the importance of mental health after natural disasters.

The online exchange sheded not only  light on  the vital role of mental health but also the role of the civil society actors in keeping up psychological support and mental health during disasters.

The moroccan  group, which included representatives of civil society and universities researchers, exchanged with Libian experts on mental helth and learn about their  work and initiatives in Mental health after desaster in Libia.

Zakaria El hamel, president of Moroccan organization Youth for peace and Musa Ali Wantiti president of the Libian Tizgar foundation were one of the Key memebers participants. Zakaria and Musa have created a space for Moroccans and Libians civil society actors through their foundations for one objectif  exchanging konowledge, expertise and networking. The exchange has been planned as an online conference with a title “Mental helath for all”. It was an opportunity to give-and-take, network and learn from the tow organizations foundations work and engagaement.

Participantes and representatives from Libyan civil society shared their experiences of working on mental health after the natural disaster that Libya has known recently.They have created programes and groups to support victimes socialy and mentally, the objectives were noble and tend to maintain peace and avoiding mental crices  and chockes that kan lead to  an another disaster in the structure of the society.

The Moroccan Researchers group from its side shed light on the importance of the mental health as a basic building block for building a healthy and stable society.  Abdellah Lahsaini who was one of the Moroccan participants confirmed that though we can assess and discern the severity of numerous ailments, the ramifications of mental health disorders carry a gravity reminiscent of mortality itself, deeply affecting not only the individual, but also their family. At times, its influence is even more profound. Regrettably, mental well-being doesn’t often receive the prime focus it undeniably merits in public health directives. With urgency, we beseech both global and national bodies to prioritize mental health.

The member of the General Assembly of the psychosocial support team in Libya Ahmed Qaliwan  explain that the Libiyan team  meet regularly with vicitms and support them  according to their possibilities and means. He also add that the online sessions and the Mental health online event was wonderful and included a diversity of experiences from Libya and Morocco. Also, he emphasized on the  fact that the civil society should put more pressures on government and institutions in order to involve them in suporting mentally victimes of the disasters. He said that all specialized rescue teams, states actors till civil society actors should provide victimes with all available capabilities, and intensify awareness about psychological and mental health.

The feminist approach to the issue of mental health was higly represented in the event through the intervention of the two specialists dr. sharifa Mayouge Professor of Psychology at the College of Education, Maryem Al hweynet ZinabLegal consultant and Executive Director of the Human Rights Organization for Transparency and Reform, and Moftah Mohammed. The three specialist throw light on the fact that even if women are at heightened risk during and after disasters, as they are disproportionately affected by family violence and traditionally have more caring responsibilities, They can be the key of the mental support if they get   the apropriate means and conditions that increase their role as important actors in establishing peace and improving mental health due to their excellent communication abilities.

The work in Libyan civil society in supporting victimes of desaster mentally, via field works is based in including women, youth, active members. The visionis is preventing and management existing and new mental desaster as well as conflicts. The work  is also supporting victimes more effectively trough rising awarness and creat healthy spaces to communicate and remove the veil from the mental health as it is still considred as a tabo before, during and after desasters in the Maghrebin context.

The online event “Mental Health for all” which is funded by ifa (Institut fur Auslandsbeziehungen) concluded with inputs to creat in the future a platforms for dialogue, exchanging, and helping victims of earthquakes and floods. 

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