[News] Study: 51% of Gaza Children, 31% of Adults Suffer Post-War Trauma

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jul 24 12:08:13 EDT 2015

  Study: 51% of Gaza Children, 31% of Adults Suffer Post-War Trauma

author Friday July 24, 2015 07:01author by IMEMC News & Agencies

    Gaza Community Mental Health Program’s (GCMHP) Deputy Director
    General for Professional Affairs Taysir Diab Thursday said around
    51% of Gaza’s children and 31% of its adults suffer Post-Traumatic
    Stress Disorder as a result to the latest Israeli mass attack on the
    besieged Gaza Strip.

These results were presented following a series of activities organized 
by the program to test the psychological condition and mental health of 
Gaza’s community; including children and adults.

According to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency, Diab along with Head 
of External Affairs and Resources Development Department Husam El-Nounou 
met with a delegation from the GIZ, which included the Regional Director 
of GIZ Rudolf Rogg, accompanied with GIZ Gaza-Representative Wael Safi.

The meeting, held in the GCMHP’s headquarters in Gaza, aimed at 
strengthening the means of joint cooperation between the GCMHP and the GIZ.

GCMHP’s Director General Yasser Abu Jamei warmly welcomed the visiting 
delegation, giving a brief about key activities and services provided by 
the GCMHP to the Palestinian community through its therapeutic and 
psychological interventions, in addition to its advocacy efforts, and 
developing the skills of professionals working in the field of community 
mental health.

Showing evidence and statistics collected from research and studies, Abu 
Jamei reaffirmed the need to offer the Palestinian people access to many 
psycho social and mental health services.

GCMHP’s Director General stated that GCMHP has bought a piece of land on 
which its permanent headquarter, funded by the Islamic Development Bank, 
will be built, and it will include Gaza Community Centre and departments 
affiliated with the GCMHP.

Diab illustrated the reasons why a great deal of men didn’t participate 
in the community mental health activities carried out by GCMHP, the most 
important of which was the excessive anger that this segment of the 
society is feeling because they are homeless until now, in addition to 
the feeling of shame for appearing in a weaker position.

The high percentage of Palestinian families in Gaza that is suffering 
from mental and psychological issues is not a new topic, nor a 
surprising one. According to Save the Children, “Homelessness and 
repeated exposure to violence, coupled with soaring unemployment for 
parents and limited mental health support, have prevented children from 
recovering from the mental trauma of war.”

Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth said in a statement, 'Many children 
in Gaza have now lived through three wars in the past seven years, the 
last one notable for its brutality. They are emotionally and, in some 
cases, physically shattered.”

According to the organization’s report, “An average of 75% of children 
surveyed experience unusual bedwetting regularly. In one area, al-Shoka, 
nearly half the children interviewed wet the bed every night. Up to 89% 
of parents reported that their children suffer consistent feelings of 
fear, while more than 70% of children said they worried about another 
war. On average seven out of 10 children interviewed suffer regular 
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