Home Institution

Villanova University

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Jordan: Modernization and Social Change


Across the globe citizens flee their native countries in search of newfound safety and stability. These people are known as refugees. Since 2003 refugees from Iraq have entered Jordan in search of a better life. Unfortunately, the terrors that Iraqi refugees escape do not disappear after crossing country lines. These memories cause serious mental health conditions for Iraqi refugees. Such conditions are intensified by the living environment in Jordan where Iraqis are not granted legal status. While some refugees are wealthy and others are resettled to the United States or Europe, the majority remain “stuck” in Jordan.

This study seeks to explore the mental health system used to deliver services to Iraqis living in Jordan. In doing so it investigates mental health conditions, the available treatment services, and the flaws in the system which provides them. The data and analysis is based off of research acquired through a set of interviews with Iraqis, aid workers, and mental health professionals. The addition of appropriate literature assists in developing and exploring my original hypothesis. The study indicates that five key problems exist within the aid system: unclear Iraqi population number, weak Jordanian mental health care system, decreasing funds, stigma of mental health, and hardships faced in Jordan. Furthermore, possible solutions are outlined in the conclusion of this study.

It is my personal hope that this study is used as further support that both the mental health care system in Jordan and the provision of aid to Iraqi refugees need major improvements.


Counseling Psychology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Mental and Social Health | Peace and Conflict Studies


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