Health care and training
Transforming mental health services in the occupied Palestinian territory
Effective delivery of mental healthcare services requires that professionals, ranging from doctors and nurses to psychologists and social workers, work together to deliver a variety of services at the community, health centre and hospital level. Such integrated services are not currently available due to the limited capacity of the national health system, compounded by the social stigma attached to mental illness. As a result, only a small number of sufferers receive the services they need.
“As a volunteer for the family association created thanks to funding by the European Union, I come to the mental health centre three days a week. Although a great number of people in Palestine have a mentally ill relative, they often cannot identify the illness. We explain to them how to address it and where to receive adequate treatment, as well as assistance by social workers.
We also organise outings and social activities that the patients appreciate very much. It makes them feel well cared for. We want them to integrate into society and to get rid of the stigma attached to mental disorders.
The impact of this project is immense. Now people are not ashamed of having a mentally ill person in their family, and the patients themselves have made considerable progress.”