Voices from the field: Amany Houchaimi News

Voices from the field: Amany Houchaimi

Voices from the field: Amany Houchaimi

Amany Houchaimi, is a 24-year-old senior case manager who has been working with MdM – Lebanon Mission since 2015. She is part of the mental health team working with Syrian refugees and the Lebanese community. A case manager performs intake interviews to get a better understanding of beneficiary’s challenges and then assists in connecting with needed services and ensures a follow up of psychosocial interventions.

“From my experience in the field, I noticed that things don’t come sealed in a neat package. You have to be flexible, and adapt to a changing context. Each person is unique, each person has his own story, his own struggle and coping methods. As case managers, we listen to people, try to see what is best for their wellbeing and refer them based on their needs. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and we have to adapt to the changing situations. Providing mental health support is a long process. It cannot be done in one day and needs constant follow-ups. Even though each person is unique, some common points are noticeable in the field. For instance, when faced with a post-traumatic situation, men feel as if they have lost a part of their masculinity. They usually suffer from severe depression because of lack of work and the sense that they no longer have a strong position in the community. Women get the impression that they have to take on responsibilities they were not used to. In some cases, they become the family’s savior. Children have to deal with harsh memories from Syria, and face fear and violence continuously. Many have bedwetting issues.

With every person I meet, I try to work on the following points:

  • Never judge and criticize.
  • Be attached and detached.
  • Never label people.
  • Never assume that all problems have the same causes or solutions.
  • Listen to what they are actually saying, instead of hear what I want them to say.

Being a case manager for me means to listen with your heart and mind, and act accordingly”.