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29 Sep 2021

Flowers and Stones: Self-Care Handbook for Syrian Men Living in Germany

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Flowers and Stones: Self-Care Handbook for Syrian Men Living in Germany was developed from 2020–2021 by the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Unit of IOM Germany. It builds upon the work on the booklet, Self-Help for Men Facing Crisis and Displacement, created by IOM in the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon from 2014–2015. The Handbook is available in English, Arabic and German and is based on interviews and focus group discussions with Syrian men, as well as their female relatives. The text was developed by two psychosocial consultants and is accompanied by all-original artwork, created by Syrian artist Diala Brisly.

By presenting a low-threshold approach to psychosocial self-help techniques, the Handbook aims to encourage Syrian men to reflect on the relationship between their environment and their feelings and emotions. It furthermore seeks to empower readers to explore resources available to them and thereby develop healthy strategies for effectively managing stress over both long and short periods of time. Through its gender- and culture-specific approach, it seeks to contribute to supporting the well-being of Syrian men living in Germany and their families. The goal of IOM is not only to address a gap in available and accessible MHPSS services for Syrian men in Germany, but also to provide a resource that supports them in overcoming gender- and culture-specific stigmatization of mental health and help-seeking.

The Handbook was created as part of the project, Psychosocial Support Self-Help Tools for Syrian Refugee Men Living in Germany, funded by the German Federal Chancellery. More information about the Handbook and other self-help tools are available at selfcare-germany.iom.int.

  • Introduction 
  • 1. New Beginnings 
  • 2. Normal Reactions to Extraordinary Circumstances 
  • 3. When Coping with Problems Becomes Problematic 
  • 4. Feeling Is Human 
  • 5. You Are Not Alone 
  • 6. The Art of Problem-solving 
  • 7. Bridging Waiting Times 
  • 8. Time for Some Time Off? 
  • 9. You Can’t Change the Situation, but You Can Change Your Attitude! 
  • 10. Faith 
  • 11. Verstehst Du Deutsch? 
  • 12. Home Is a State of Mind 
  • 13. Getting to Know Each Other 
  • 14. Myself and Others 
  • 15. Family 
  • 16. Looking Ahead