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“First Day of GCMHP’s 8th Int’l MH Conference Kicks off”


Gaza Community Mental Health Programme has held the first day of the 8th international conference, entitled “Mental Health in the Gaza Strip: An Area Populated by Refugees”, at Almashtal Hotel in Gaza City.

During the 3-day conference, 45 scientific papers, done by local and international researchers, are to be presented. The papers provide science-based information on issues related to mental health and human rights.

Researchers from different countries including Lebanon, Ireland, the United States of America, Britain, Italy as well as others from the Gaza Strip and West Bank, are presenting their studies at the conference, which is being attended by 500 participants, from the local and international communities, some of whom are well-known for their expertise in mental health and human rights.

The first day consisted of three different sessions held under three different themes, during every one of which a number of papers and studies were presented and discussed by and moderated by specialized panels.  Members of the audience who were attending the sessions either in person or via the Zoom program also participated in the discussions and raised some questions which were answered by the researchers.  

A group of recommendations aroused from each sessions.  They are as follow:

The first session Venue 1:

·        There is a necessity in having electronic university platforms contain messages on health security and the importance of preserving the social matrix;

·        Availing from the increase in social media use in bridging the gap created by Covid-19 pandemic.

·        There is a necessity that all mental health professionals have a role in raising the awareness of the society on corona pandemic.

The second session:

·        Creating developmental programmes for university students as to motivate them to  be creative and innovative during their university lives and afterwards.

·        Changing the conventional educational systems and developing the educational methodologies so as to help university students improve on the academic, social and professional levels, and as a result. Lead them to improve their mental health state.

·        Putting special programmes for improving professional performance and psychological empowerment so as to promote the skills needed by women who work at the MoH to face stress.

·        Putting  special plans and programmes to support girls, especially those with disabilities, in the emergency situations so as to help them cope with the stressful times and promote their awareness on self-protection, especially at refuge centers.

·        Modifying and realigning the refuge centers with the girls need for privacy and in a way that guarantees their safety and security from harm and violation.

·        Providing primary health care and midwifery services and providing caregivers to deal with girls health problems as well as raising their awareness on all types of GBV and how to protect their rights.

The third session

 

·        Paying special attention to PTSD which poses threat to all the social groups, especially the underprivileged ones.

·        Paying special attendtion to improving the economic state of the society and working on improving the personal skills of the amputees to help integrate them in the society and be effective through incorporating them in the different CBOs.

·        Working on raising awareness on the concept of mental disorders in the primary care centres.

·        The necessity to invest more in mental health especially after the breakout of pandemics, wars and political conflicts.

·        Creating projects to incorporate the marginalized groups such as the aputees and those injured during the GMR protest, with the necessity of providing them with the health care they need.

·        Doing more research on chronic diseases in the Gaza Strip and casting light on the psychological impact on diabetic people.

·        Studying the interventions made in regard to wellbeing and holistic state of security as well as self-care so as to relieve the symptoms of anxiety among the GMR casualties.

Second session venue 2

 

·        Early detection of iron deficiency is of such a consequence in preventing postpartum depression.

·        Supporting more studies on the impact of inflammations and nutrition as well as the impact of good and bad dietary practices on mental health.

·          The importance of aesthetic architecture in improving the health environment, especially for the marginalized groups and extended families.

·        Reinforcing and improving medical documentation and the standards of diagnosing mental health disorders of the patients of hyperactivity and distraction based on MSD5, in addition to importance of good communication between the patients the medical staff.

·        Providing the life essentials for the PKU patients, especially their medications and special foods as well as educating them on importance of mental health therapy in relieving the symptoms of this disease and the impact it has on the individuals and the community.