© Marta Soszynska/MSF

Venezuela

We provide mental healthcare to residents of Caracas, one of the most violent cities in the world

On South America's northern coast, Venezuela is a country of striking natural beauty.

It is also among the most highly urbanised countries in Latin America.

The country has a wealth of natural resources, yet many Venezuelans live in poverty, often in shanty towns, some of which sprawl over the hillsides around the capital, Caracas.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) first worked in the country in 2015.

In 2016, we began providing mental health care to victims of urban violence in Caracas.

  • 580

    INDIVIDUAL MENTAL HEALTH CONSULTATIONS IN 2016


  • 930

    GROUP MENTAL HEALTH SESSIONS IN 2016


  • 24

    MSF STAFF IN 2016
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MSF's work in Venezuela: 2016

In collaboration with the local organisation Fe y Alegría, we offered comprehensive care for victims of sexual violence.

The project started in mid-2016 in two of the city's most dangerous neighbourhoods, Petare and La Vega.

In these areas, criminal gangs use violence – including robbery, murder, extortion and kidnapping – to gain territorial control.

Our psychologists provided 367 individual mental health consultations, and during these sessions, they detected and addressed 57 cases of sexual violence.

Our teams seek to mitigate the consequences of violence on people’s mental health, by training community leaders and educators and organising psychosocial activities.

These include classes and workshops on topics such as anxiety control, fear, psychological first aid and sexual violence prevention.

In 2017, over 7,800 volunteers participated.