It's okay not to be okay.
Mental health has long been a marginal topic in Egypt. Not many people would openly talk about it, and that makes for a lonely experience. Moreover, asking for help is often made more challenging by the lack of facilities that are trustworthy and safe.
It is hard to ask for help when you think you feel alone in this, but you’re not alone. More and more people have been interested and invested in the conversation about mental health recently, making for a healthier environment for more people.
My most rewarding experience in therapy was with a therapist who was insightful, safe, and reflective. And, because this is relatively rare in Cairo, one of the most stressful cities in the world, I put together this list to try and count, and share other places that offer competence and safety. Your mind matters, so if you’re feeling unwell, or you just need someone to talk to from time to time about the thick of it, here are a few of the places that I found would be helpful.
Located right off of Port-Said Street, in a calm pocket of Maadi, The Maadi Psychology Center is best suited for therapy. The center offers psychological as well as psychiatric help, and workshops that tackle everything from depression, to marital issues, and specialists that deal in ADHD and autism. They’re also equipped to receive emergency patients 24/7.
Address: 16, Orabi Street (Off Port Said Street), Maadi, Cairo, Egypt
Number: +01284436347 or 2359-2278
iCanSurvive is located in El Agouza and its goal is to spread cancer awareness, while also offering therapy and support for cancer patients. So committed to genuinely raising awareness of cancer, that it also hosts workshops and seminars on how to detect and combat it. The center has received numerous awards for its efforts.
Address: 11 Mahgoub Thabet Street, El Agouza, Giza
Number: 0101 465 9055
Revive in Zamalek takes a holistic approach to health. They offer a membership model for the treatment of chronic diseases. This includes personalised treatment plans that are physically and digitally accessible for their members. The plans include pathways to diagnose and treat chronic illnesses for members, as well as physiotherapy and psychotherapy for both members and non-members.
Address: 15A El-Mansour Mohamed st, Zamalek
Phone: +2 01144446911
Exist is located near Lebanon Square, Mohandessin, and is specialized in therapy and counseling. Therapists there are trained to tackle all sorts of issues including marriage and family, depression & anxiety, sex addiction, substance abuse, eating disorders and trauma. They optimize your treatment by tackling the mind and the body through assessments, one-on-one counseling, group therapy and much more.
Address: 13 Al Israa St. off Lebanon St., Floor 2, Flat 5, Mohandeseen, Giza, Egypt
Number: (+2) 0106 277 1515
The Behman Hospital is older and larger than any other private psychiatric hospital in Egypt and the Middle East. Located in Helwan, it offers inpatient and outpatient services, and a specialized Memory Diagnostic Clinic for the detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s. They also host specific units for old age and addiction, as well as 24-hour nursing and house visits by psychiatrists affiliated with the hospital.
Address: 32 El-Marsad St., Helwan, P.O. 11421, Cairo
Number: (202) 28166610
Though it's not a physical clinic, Facebook page Lilac channels the seemingly unlimited power of social media to help hundreds of people. Whether you have something you want to share anonymously, a question you want to ask, or a topic you want to learn about, their page has it all. They’re always on the lookout for the latest and they’ll make sure to keep you motivated with wholesome memes and words of support.
It may seem hard to ask for help when you're down, but this list could be a good place to start opening up. Trust and safety are invaluable assets when pursuing your wellness, so do take steps. Somebody will have your back.
I was able to compile this list with help from Lilac, a Facebook page that works to raise mental health awareness in Cairo.
Illustrations from dazeddigital.com