Let’s face it: there is a lot going on right now, and we could all use a little support. We’re embarking on Ramadan and the season of exams, work is piling up as people realize that we’re almost halfway through the year, and there is an atmosphere of change, pressure and uncertainty around us – not only in Egypt, but all over the world. Times like these can be stressful, overwhelming and downright distressing, and that’s why we’re starting this comprehensive list of resources for taking care of your Mental Health if you’re living in Egypt.
NGOs and Institutions
P.H.A.S.E is a registered NGO (Non-governmental organization) in Egypt. Their facebook page is active (Last Updated: April 2019) and offers resources, advice and tools on talking about mental health and developing healthy relationships. They share guides and motivational, uplifting posts in English and Arabic. They also have a Facebook Group titled #Ana_Kaman (Me too) in which people speak up about and share their experiences with harassment in Egypt to spread awareness and break the societal stigma around discussing these incidences.
The Eastern Medical Regional Office for the World Health Organization offers tools, resources and statistics to understand mental health and mental disorders. They have Arabic content and offer access to academic papers and research in Arabic along with links to apply for psychology-related programs and certificates. The website is not updated frequently but poses a good portal for research.
An initiative to raise awareness and provide a safe space for the suffering youth in Egypt. They share stories, music, articles, short videos/films about dealing with mental illness and navigating the journey towards improving your mental health. You can anonymously submit your stories and thoughts and they will be published to the page. A good place to go to know that you’re not alone and find a creative outlet for your feelings.
An initiative by Cairo Confessions through which you can fill a form and get in touch with their volunteers if you need someone to talk to and vent your problems. CC listeners is part of Cairo Confessions’ line of products which target mental health awareness in Egypt and create an environment in which people can speak their truth without fear of being judged.
Lilac Egypt ‘Thank You Brave Warriors’ Campaign. Source: Lilac FB page.
Lilac is another page for sharing your fears, thoughts, emotions and struggles anonymously to receive comments, feedback and support. It is a small, positive community and safe space to speak your mind about issues you feel like you can’t talk about in public. They share weekly content which includes videos, articles and artwork on topics like self-care, careers and work stress, understanding and managing emotions, and approaching therapy. They also visit and review mental health institutions and centers in Egypt. You can read their review about Behman Hospital below.
Centers and Hospitals:
Al-Mashfa is an in-patient psychiatric and physical rehabilitation hospital on the Cairo-Ismailia road that focuses on the treatment of psychological and social disorders. The website contains an online reservation feature and a well-organized structure that allows you to review photos, services, facilities and news.
Contact: [email protected] Map: https://goo.gl/maps/hRzESGxAzXUvUrja6
Okasha is a well-known mental health resort in New Cairo that offers in-patient care and out-patient clinics and support. It was established in 1983 in Mohandessein by Dr. Ahmed Okasha and moved to New Cairo in 2005. They offer treatment and care for chronic psychiatric conditions, acute mental health impairment, memory challenges and rehabilitation for addiction and substance abuse. They also offer a clinic for sleep disorders, unexplained somatic conditions (physical conditions that have arisen from a mental disorder), specialized clinic for dealing with burnout, a clinic for cognitive behavioral therapy and finally, a clinic for the families of patients to educate them on helping your loved ones recover.
Contact: [email protected] Map: https://goo.gl/maps/3Lkg5Kd12vDShJX8
Behman Hospital Entrance. Source: 680 News.
Behman is the oldest psychiatric hospital in the Middle East. It offers inpatient care and treatment for Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia along with programs aimed at the elderly suffering from psychological conditions that impair their day-to-day functionality. They also offer outpatient treatment for older adults who do not require hospitalization and a memory-diagnostic clinic, along with house-based services and a 24-hour nursing service.
Contact: [email protected] Map: https://goo.gl/maps/6Y7351kpTe8zhLYAA
Insight is a psychotherapy, life coaching and counselling center in El Gouna that is open to clients across all age groups and from all backgrounds. They offer traditional therapy such as AA meetings, psychological treatments, intensive therapy, and neuro-linguistic programming. They also offer alternative forms of therapy such as energy healing, yoga therapy, homeopathy, hypnotherapy and meditation. You can read all the details of each individual type of therapy on their website and also set up an appointment.
Contact: [email protected]
Event at Osana Wellness Center. Source: Osana Website.
Osana is a center in Maadi that offers wellness programsand courses such as meditation, yoga, pilates, massage center, along with pregnancy, postnatal, and childcare programs. They also have a daycare to watch over children while parents are receiving their treatment. Osana hosts talks and discussions on mental health awareness and group therapy sessions, along with a market every Friday to promote local artwork and products. It focuses on fostering community and creating a physical safe space. They also have a coffee shop!
Contact: [email protected] Map: https://goo.gl/maps/5XKQ2bgzgbCBmKDt6
Online resources and platforms:
Shezlong is an online platform through you can schedule online or offline therapy sessions with the therapist or psychiatrist of your choosing from their database. The website also offers a blog in which they share mental health awareness resources in English and in Arabic, and includes a quick psychometer test which you can use to assess your mental health state and better understand your condition. There are tests to assess depression, anxiety, PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
Esma3ly offers an affordable help-line through which you can schedule anonymous, one-on-one sessions with counsellors on the web. It follows a subscription fee model. UPDATE: The website is currently down (As of April, 2019).
Empower magazine was founded in March 2019 by Ally Salama and is dedicated to Mental Health & Wellness. They discuss themes like proper parenting, understanding therapy and self-care. They also produce a podcast called ‘The Empower Series’, which is Egypt’s first mental health podcast. You can listen to the first episode here, featuring the champion Farida Osman and subscribe on Android.
An open-source, peer-compiled list of doctors and therapists in Egypt, mainly in Cairo and Alexandria. The list includes the mental health professionals’ addresses, phone numbers, and reviews by the clients who suggested them.
A kind reminder: There is nothing inherently wrong about the act of reaching out for help or asking for it. It is not admitting defeat, it is not shameful, it is not attention seeking, it is not dramatic – it takes strength, and it is a sign of growth and progress. If you feel overwhelmed, if you feel stressed out, if you feel alone – speak up and talk about it. Whether you choose to post about it online, contact a friend, a family member, or even write it down in a journal, every act of venting out your feelings is important and is a step towards active recovery and getting better.
The list is a work-in-progress and will be updated on a regular basis. Feel free to add any resource that you know, have tried or have heard of in the comments below and share this article around so that it could reach anyone who needs it.