February 27, 2023

The Impact of Lebanese Culture on Mental Health

Nour Fayad

The Lebanese culture is rich and diverse, influenced by its history, geography, religion, and traditions.  However, like all cultures across the globe, it also has an impact on the mental health and wellbeing of its citizens. This impact can be both positive and negative.  Here are some ways in which the culture may affect mental health:


Collective Trauma 

Lebanon has a long history of conflict and political instability, with frequent periods of violence and warfare. These events can lead to a collective trauma among the population, which can result in increased rates of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among individuals.


Stigma Around Mental Illness

There is still a significant amount of stigma surrounding mental illness in Lebanese culture, which can make it difficult for individuals to seek help when they are struggling with their mental health. This can lead to a reluctance to seek treatment, delays in receiving care, and a lack of support from family and friends.


Family Ties and Social Support 

On the other hand, the strong emphasis on family and community ties in Lebanese culture can provide a protective factor for mental health. Social support from family, friends, and community members can help to buffer the effects of stress and promote resilience.


Societal Pressure and Expectations 

Lebanese culture also places a significant emphasis on success, achievement, and social status. This pressure to meet societal expectations can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression, particularly among young people who may feel overwhelmed by the demands placed upon them.


Access to Mental Health Care 

Finally, access to mental health care in Lebanon can be limited, particularly for those who live in rural or remote areas. There may be a shortage of mental health professionals, a lack of insurance coverage for mental health services, and a limited understanding of mental health issues among the general population.


Overall, the Lebanese culture can both positively and negatively affect mental health outcomes. While there are challenges to accessing care and addressing stigma, there are also strengths in the culture that can support mental health and well-being.


The strengths that can support mental health and well-being include:


Strong Family Ties 

Lebanese culture places a strong emphasis on family, which can provide a sense of belonging, support, and love for individuals. This social support can act as a protective factor against mental health problems and promote resilience.


Rich Cultural Heritage 

Lebanon has a rich cultural heritage, with a long history of art, music, and literature. Engaging in cultural activities can promote a sense of identity and pride, which can contribute to mental well-being.



Lebanese people have demonstrated a remarkable resilience in the face of adversity, including political instability, war, and economic challenges. This resilience can help individuals to cope with stress and trauma, and can promote a sense of hope and optimism for the future.


Sense of Community 

Lebanese culture values community and social connections, with a strong emphasis on hospitality, generosity, and sharing. This sense of community can promote social support and help individuals to feel less isolated, which can contribute to mental well-being.


Spiritual and Religious Beliefs 

Religion and spirituality are important aspects of Lebanese culture, with a majority of the population identifying as either Muslim or Christian. Faith can provide comfort, meaning, and purpose for individuals, and can act as a coping mechanism during difficult times.


These strengths in Lebanese culture can help to promote mental well-being and resilience, particularly in the face of adversity. Recognizing and utilizing these strengths can help individuals and communities to better cope with stress and trauma, and can contribute to a greater sense of overall well-being.