Holiday Newsletter 2021

Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen the toll Covid-19 has had on our lives and, ultimately, on our mental health.

For people living with mental illness, limited access to services has made the situation especially challenging, but it has also been a daunting and life-changing experience for all people, regardless of their mental state. Isolation, social distancing, mask-wearing, the death of loved ones, employment instability and uncertainty about the future have increased stress, anxiety and disorders all over the world.

Coping with the pandemic hasn’t been easy, but at Fondation d’Harcourt, it has made us more resilient. Unable to travel and meet our partners  in the field, we found innovative ways to maintain close contact through technology and became even more involved in their activities online. Working together, we overcame challenges, turned them into new opportunities, and continued providing quality mental health services and psychosocial support to those in need.  

Here are some of the highlights and achievements from the past year:


In 2021, we successfully culminated three projects based in Italy and approved in 2020 under the COVID Emergency Fund. Now supported by other partners, they will continue into the new year.

AVSI Foundation – resilience and emergency response training for educators and social workers providing psychosocial support to vulnerable families and children in Milan.

Soleterre – iin-person and online psychological support for health workers at San Matteo Hospital in Pavia during the pandemic emergency and the creation of a national hotline dedicated to individuals affected by Covid-19.

CBM Italia Onlus – psychoeducation and psychological support for health workers and administrative personnel in Humanitas Hospital in Milan aimed at strengthening resilience and alleviating stress.


© Margherita Dametti for Soleterre


In 2021, Fondation d’Harcourt also concluded two partnerships in Geneva with the Centre de la Roseraie, which provided individual counselling for migrants and refugees, as well as Children Action, an innovative project combining health services and art activities for youth at risk of suicide.

In Uganda, the Center for Victims of Trauma (CVT) provided counselling services in both the Gulu and Lamwo districts through remote tele-mental health and in-person clinics, as well as ongoing clinical supervision for its staff. In partnership with Makerere University, psychosocial counsellors received extensive professional training and earned a diploma in trauma counselling


© Joost Van Heesvelde for Fracarita Rwanda


In collaboration with WHO and other partners in Ghana, Fondation d’Harcourt supported the rolling out of e-training programs designed to empower stakeholders to promote the rights and rehabilitation of people with psychosocial disabilities.

In Rwanda, AVSI continued community awareness, identification, treatment and referral services for people with mental illness in addition to training sessions on mental health for personnel. A coaching program for psychiatric nurses run by Fracarita was regularly held online, increasing its reach over the year thanks to digital technology.



zoom meeting Fundatia Inocenti


In Romania, Fundatia Inocenti raised awareness about mental health and reduced stigma, providing a safe space for adolescents to share their struggles. Using art as means of self-expression, the project helped build self-esteem and community as teens worked together to organize a public art exhibition. (video)

Fondazione di Liegro International Onlus in Rome, Italy, promoted its annual course on mental health dedicated to the key role volunteers play in responding to communities’ emerging needs during a pandemic. Art therapy workshops such as theatre, photography, painting, music and walking were held in person once again following the appropriate safety measures. (video)

At Omada, a neuropsychiatric community in Milan, Italy, supported by Mission Bambini, adolescents suffering from anxiety, mood, psychotic and eating disorders regained their self-esteem and trust in others with the help of a multidisciplinary team who aided in their recovery through individual rehabilitation therapy aimed at improving the quality of their lives.


concert by Fondazione di Liegro International Onlus


In collaboration with our partner FREP, the Cocooning Association in Geneva, Switzerland, welcomed mothers and their children to “cocooning” sessions where they could share their concerns and needs related to parenting while finding answers to perinatal, emotional and developmental questions. Individual counselling was also provided to support mothers with their emotional health.

In Lebanon, the pandemic added more stress to a country already in crisis. Our partner WHO and the National Mental Health Program in Lebanon struggled but showed resilience and worked hard to  implement the e-mental health intervention for depression.


Fondation Recherche en Périnatalité (FReP)


Looking forward to 2022, a call for proposals was sent out in September and three new projects will come on board by year’s end.


As a challenging year comes to a close, we would like to thank our wonderful partners for their passion
and ongoing commitment to providing quality mental health services. Together, we will continue to hold out
a helping hand to those in need, wherever they are in the world.

With gratitude and best wishes for the New Year.