Students of the Department of Psychology at the Lebanese University - Faculty of Letters & Human Sciences concluded Phase 1 of the "psychological assessment" for people affected by the Beirut port explosion, within “Nehna Haddak” initiative, one of the teams of the LU Task Force (LUTF).
The announcement took place on 14 September 2020 during a meeting at the LUTF center in the presence of Professor Ahmed Rabah, Dean of the Faculty of Letters & Human Sciences, Dr. Rasha Tadmouri and Dr. Adiba Hamdan from the Department of Psychology, Dr. Anis Shaaya, Coordinator of the Department of Archeology at the Deanship of the Faculty of Letters, Dr. Hassan Salameh, head of LUTF, in addition to volunteers from students and graduates.
Student Hussein Hamieh, LUTF Psychological First Aid Officer and coordinator of activities in “Nehna Haddak” initiative, summarized the work of volunteers over 35 days following the explosion, and the work of the initiative since the beginning of COVID-19 crisis.
The volunteer students thanked Dean Rabah after issuing a decision to count their volunteering hours as part of their training to obtain permission to practice the profession. The report included the following key points:
· 1400 volunteers in “Nehna Haddak” initiative from the students specializing in Psychology
· 208 volunteers within the psychological field work teams
· 110 volunteers in the hotline of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)
· 20 volunteers in the Rafik Hariri International Airport to assist MoPH in PCR tests
· 25 hotlines to receive calls and psychological counseling from Beirut
· 120 hotlines to receive calls and psychological counseling from other Lebanese areas
· Receipt of +700 calls for psychological counseling or request for help since the beginning of COVID-19 crisis
· Receipt of +1500 calls on MoPH hotline since the beginning of COVID-19 crisis
· Communication with more than 7 thousand people and families to offer psychological support
· +200 tickets to transfer cases to receive necessary psychological and medical follow-up
· Provision of about 250 COVID-19 psychological awareness materials
· Organization of orientation and mentoring meetings for volunteer teams with Dr. Jacqueline Saad and Dr. Mary Ange Nohra
· Conducting two sessions on psychological first aid and TFT technology with the Kuwaiti “NAFAS Association” and the Egyptian “SHEZLONG Association”, with the participation of about 800 students and specialists
· On site communication and coordination with the majority of volunteer bodies (universities, local and international associations, etc.)
· Opening volunteering for Psychology from private universities (USJ - NDU - HAIGAZIAN)
· Opening volunteering for specialists from different fields (psychiatry - speech specialization, sensory-kinesthetic and occupational therapy, etc.)
· Conducting interviews with various visual, audio and printed media
· Supporting awareness campaigns and psychological counseling through social media
Professor Rasha Tadmouri gave a speech on behalf of the professors supervising the initiative, stressing the importance of this humanitarian work and the high responsibility of students and graduates to support and enhance the capabilities of individuals and provide treatment and development services to those affected.
Professor Tadmouri pointed out that the role of the psychologist is not limited to therapeutic intervention after the occurrence of the problem or crisis, but begins thereafter to develop the capabilities of individuals and immune and protect them in order to avoid mental disorders. She praised the students' work, and considered that their humanitarian efforts are a source of pride for the National University, and these efforts led them to rank first in the Regional Competition for Entrepreneurship in Francophone Universities.
The meeting concluded with a word given by Dean Rabah, in which he said that the Lebanese University has proven for decades its worth in leading society and its presence in all crises.