Heal Minds, ChANge Lives, Restore Hope

10 September 2021

Heal Minds, Change Lives, Restore Hope

By Edna Fernandes, Co-Founder, Beyond Conflict

One person dies from suicide every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organisation.

That is 700,000 people a year. Suicide is the second biggest cause of death among 15-29 year olds (WHO). Mental health is recognised as one of the world’s greatest health challenges and the pandemic has made those pressures worse.

Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, Beyond Conflict joins people and organisations around the world to raise awareness and provide help to improve mental health. Beyond Conflict was founded in 2018 to give free mental health support to frontline workers and civilians who’ve been traumatised by war, displacement and terrorism. These vulnerable people face extraordinary pressures. The refugees themselves have often lost loved ones, homes, livelihoods and country. The frontline workers who serve them work in the toughest conditions imaginable and often are traumatised too.

Our work aims to alleviate those pressures, and heal minds damaged by PTSD, trauma and the horrors they’ve endured.

Mr M: a life saved

Our first project went live during the 2020 pandemic in the Rohingya Refugee Camp in Bangladesh, where 1.1 million people remain after their exodus from Myanmar in 2017. This month we launch our report on that pilot project, which proved to be a success. We delivered: free mental health training for frontline workers in Cox’s Bazar camp, enabling them to stay strong and continue their work with the refugees. We set up a 24-hour helpline and a referral pathway for free psychiatric support in the camp.

Our project threw a spotlight on the story of one trainee, a frontline worker called Mr M who tried to take his life twice. Faced with pressures in his personal and work life, Mr M turned to our confidential telephone hotline for help. As a result he was referred to specialist psychiatric help and, thank God, he is now well, in therapy and continues his work with the refugees.

This is a lifeline,” he said. “It saves lives. It saved my life. Now I will encourage others to use it.”

You can read his case study on our website. Many of our other trainees also received life-changing help.

This is the story of one person whose life was changed by Beyond Conflict’s supporters. But more needs to be done. When we started this project, BC and its partner in Bangladesh, GDC, said if it saved one life it would be worth it. Now we wish to expand the work there and we’ll be announcing the results of our full Impact Report, Donor Report and road map for Phase 2 of the Rohingya project in the coming days.  Watch this space.

We’re asking for your support to raise money so we can help more people like Mr M and the traumatised refugees he serves. Together we can heal minds, change lives and restore hope.

Please, donate today. Thank you.


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