Syrian children suffer from ‘toxic stress’ after 6 years of war, new report says – ABC News
Nagham lost her entire family in an airstrike last year in Idlib in northwestern Syria. After that, the girl, who was 6 years old at the time, moved to a refugee camp, where she stayed with a family. She refused to eat and was scared of anyone who came close to her.
This is how Taghreed Baaj, a psychological counselor with Shafak, a charity in northwestern Syria, describes one of the Syrian children who made the biggest impact on her. Baaj helped Nagham move to a refugee camp for orphans and still visits her every once in a while.
After nearly six years of war, Syrian children like Nagham suffer from “toxic stress,” a condition that comes from experiencing frequent and continued difficulties, such as the extreme violence of the Syrian conflict, and is likely to have a life-long impact on children, according to a new report conducted by Save the Children and its Syrian partners, including Shafak.
“What affects children the most is losing one of their parents or siblings,” Baaj told ABC News. “It gives children a mental shock. Inside Syria, children generally suffer from lack of education and lack of good nutrition.”
Save the Children, with Shafak and other Syrian partners, interviewed more than 458 children, adolescents and adults across seven governorates in Syria for “Invisible Wounds,” a new report on the mental health of Syrian children.
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