“I do not want to have all my children together in one room. If something happens, everyone together would become victims of bombs or airstrikes. I do not like letting my children go out. When they do, I ask them to stay in contact with me regularly. I fear something could happen to them,” she said.
Following the death of her husband and their move to Hajjah, life has not been easy for Hafsa and her family. There is no income for her family, and they are entirely dependent on humanitarian aid. Hafsa's daughter developed psychosis and attempted suicide by setting herself on fire. She was severely burned and needed weeks of treatment for her injuries.
Hafsa learned about mental health services from her granddaughter, who attended a mental health awareness session at a hospital. When she learned about the symptoms that might point towards a mental health disorder, she realized her grandmother might have one.
Both Hafsa and her daughter were treated at MSF’s clinic.
Alima*: "Mental health services are not only for 'crazy' people."
Alima was in hospital for a routine sexual and reproductive health care appointment when she overheard some women talking about mental health care. She had always thought of mental health care as something that only “crazy” people needed. Alima was surprised to hear that these two women regularly used these services, yet they did not seem to have obvious issues, so she asked them about it.
After her divorce, Alima’s ex-husband’s family did not let her see her three children. Alima, who was already dealing with anxiety, became depressed. She suffered from sleeping issues and isolated herself. She also attempted to commit suicide.
“One day I saw my son from afar, but I could not go to meet him,” said Alima. “I felt very distressed and cried for hours. That day I decided to consult a psychologist. I went to the Al-Gamhouri Hospital mental health clinic in Hajjah city and spoke with a psychologist for four hours. It was the first time I understood the idea of mental health and how these services can help.”