Rescue Me works to create safer homes and communities by facilitating educational workshops for schools, community centers and prisons and conducting advocacy on preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). They focus on crime prevention through social development to create more connected communities. Rescue Me believes that increasing awareness of radicalization and extremism is key for preventing crime and violence.
Psychosocial Support as Emergency Response
On August 4, 2020, Beirut experienced two large explosions, which caused more than 200 deaths, 7,000 injuries and the destruction of approximately 15,000 homes and businesses. Within only a week, it became increasingly apparent that the mental health of Beirut’s community was quickly deteriorating. Rescue Me recognized that the short- and long-term impacts of intense, untreated psychological trauma can have catastrophic impact on both an individual and their communities. If widespread, the recovery process of Beirut could be near impossible.
With their IPF Rapid Response funding stream, Rescue Me’s “One Pulse Initiative” immediately responded to Beirut’s mental health crisis and provided the necessary emergency psychosocial support to begin adequately rehabilitating their community. Rescue Me published a series of videos on social media to raise awareness about trauma and available resources to treat it. They trained 26 social workers to provide in-person and online trauma support for both adults and children. This training included interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), loss and grief, survivor’s guilt, suicide, depression, anger, anxiety and fear. In less than 3 months, social workers provided 250 beneficiaries with appropriate psychosocial support sessions, including up to six follow up sessions for 60 of these beneficiaries. As a result, patients reported 34.4% decrease in their PTSD responses. Additionally, Rescue Me’s team responded to requests from parents to provide psycho-social intervention sessions for their children. As such, 13 sessions were conducted with children under the age of 18, including a 4-year-old girl. Rescue Me’s interventions expanded to include health care workers from Wardieh hospital, who were frontline responders to the explosions. Consequently, several other hospitals then reached out to Rescue Me and requested their support to work with their staff members. With the support of their IPF grant, Rescue Me was able to create a rapid response team that provides 24/7 psychosocial intervention and mental health care.
Rescue Me’s impact across a short time period proved that psychosocial support is a necessary – but often forgotten – emergency response. It is vital to recognize and heal individuals’ and communities’ invisible psychological wounds in order to rebuild social structures after a traumatic event.
Trained 26 social workers on trauma response
Provided 250 survivors of Beirut’s 2020 explosions with psychosocial support sessions, including adults, children, and health care workers
Published 3 videos on social media and local television to raise awareness about trauma and available resources
“The Rapid Response Fund from the IPF encouraged Rescue Me’s fieldwork during COVID-19, which made us feel supported, trusted, and loved. We feel that ICAN has our backs in times of crisis.”
General Director of Rescue Me