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In February 2014, Paul Baker and John Jenkins undertook a two week mission sponsored by the World Health Organisation and supported by the Palestinian Authority.We provided training and consultancy to the mental health services in Gaza and the West Bank of Palestine. The training was focused on creating a Whole Life Whole Systems Recovery Action Plan for the services.
The Ministries of Health Palestine and the WHO in West Bank and Gaza recognised the importance of further developing the Recovery Approach for mental health professionals, University tutors, senior managers, NGO’s and Family Associations.
The WHO Mental Health Programme commissioned the International Mental Health Collaborating Network (IMHCN) to identify and provide experienced training consultants to devise and run a four day training programme.
The Ministries chose the participants who undertook the training based on their assessment of their capacity to implement the training into their practice and services.In the West Bank there were 25 participants (psychiatrists, mental health nurses, social workers, a counsellor, Occupational Therapists, Nurse Tutor) at the Bethlehem Hospital Training workshop
In Gaza there were 18 participants (psychologists, mental health nurses, University Tutors, social workers) from the Community Mental Health Centres, the Hospital and the University.
The workshop introduced an important new approach to meeting the whole life needs of the people with mental health problems, families and the wider community. We developed the thinking, knowledge and practice of the participants in assisting people in their recovery journey and to become active members of society – as part of a whole systems approach. The training built on existing knowledge and practice of using the recovery approach within the mental health teams in West Bank and Gaza. This session provided an overview of a range of different person centred recovery planning and action tools including WRAP, MAPs, Victim to Victor.
Country: Bethlehem Psychiatric Hospital, West Bank, Palestine
Background: Ivona is a senior psychiatrist and the acting medical director of Bethlehem Psychiatric Hospital in Palestine.
She was born in Croatia, where she lived and completed her basic professional formation at the University hospital 'Rebro' in Zagreb and its Institutes for Psychological Medicine and Group Analysis, respectively.
Following her marriage to a Palestinian colleague, she made a major switch in her life by moving from her native Adriatic sea to the Eastern part of the Mediterranean, finding there a new soil for her personal and professional growth.
At the teaching hospital where she has been working since 1999 and which is the only psychiatric in-patient facility in Palestine, she is keen on exchanging knowledge, skills, respect and understanding.
She likes being a mediator between different attitudes, ideas and voices, enjoys connecting with people on a few languages, and keeps believing that it is still not to late to mend this world.
Friends for Mental Health is an organization that supports and advocates for the service users and families of mental health and psychosocial services so they can live in dignity within their communities. It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization working in the Gaza Strip. It was founded in 2011 with the support of the World Health Organization and commenced its activities in 2013.
- Raising awareness about mental health and psychosocial issues and the rights of service users.
- Promoting commitment to professional practices in mental health and psychosocial services.
- Promoting respect for service users rights.
- Monitoring and documenting any violations or discrimination towards services users and/or their families. - - Developing information support system for service users.
- Building the capacities of services users, their families and service providers.
They are a group of community activists and volunteers powered by dedication and passion to coordinate and integrate governmental and non-governmental efforts to ensure high quality mental health and psychosocial services based on principles of justice, equality and respect of the rights of service users and their families through :
- Providing support and services for service users and their families, friends and service providers.
- Advocating the rights of service users and their families.
- Supporting social inclusion for service users.
- Educating the community about mental health issues.
- Contributing in developing services, policies and legislations of mental health and psychosocial services.
Address: Gaza City, Gaza
Dyaa Saymad, Mental Health Officer, Gaza, World Health Organization
Rajiah Abu Sway, Mental Health Officer, West Bank, World Health Organization