Self-Help App for Syrian Refugees

The Step-by-Step app is now available. Image Credit: Department of Education and

The Step-by-Step app is now available. Image Credit: Department of Education and Psychology, Division of Clinical Psychological Intervention, Freie Universität Berlin

Freie Universität research team is looking for trial participants for "Step-by-Step" improvement program

No 189/2020 from Oct 12, 2020

A team of psychologists is currently testing the effectivity of a new self-help app for Syrian refugees in a new study entitled "STRENGTHS" at Freie Universität Berlin. The "Step-by-Step" internet-based app was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) together with the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health and the University of Zurich. Freie Universität Berlin made the app smartphone-compatible. Available in English and Arabic, it is intended for adult refugees from Syria living in Germany who are experiencing psychological crises, stress, and/or other psychological difficulties. The app incorporates strategies and techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy and can be accessed on a smartphone or via the website. The research team is still in the process of optimizing the app and is looking for participants to help them identify how it can be improved. Anyone who would like to help can get in touch by sending an email to khoutouwat@psychologie.fu-berlin.de. Trained counselors are also available at any time to provide support.

It was initiated by a consortium of European research institutes and humanitarian and international organizations with the aim of improving the psychosocial support available for Syrian refugees.

How it Works

The app offers strategies and interactive exercises in the form of an illustrated story. For example, users can learn breathing techniques to lower stress levels or to plan their activities and goals. For those who have difficulty reading, it is accompanied by an audio track. It was developed by experts in psychotherapy and global mental health care.

How to Access Step-by-Step

The smartphone version is available for iOS in the Apple App Store and Android in the Google Play Store. Step-by-Step can also be accessed via a website in most computer web browsers, including in a mobile version.

The photo is available for journalists to download free of charge, provided it is used in the context of the press release and the source is duly cited.

The photo is available for journalists to download free of charge, provided it is used in the context of the press release and the source is duly cited.


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