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“PFA Services Provided to Hearing-Impaired People Within Accessibility Promotion Framework”

As part of its initiative to enhance the access of people with disabilities to mental health services, Gaza Community Mental Health Program, has started providing psychological first aid services for people with hearing disabilities, in cooperation with the Atfaluna Society for the Deaf.

The services are provided under project “Enhancing Access to and Availability of Mental Health Services in the Gaza Strip”, which is Funded by the German Corporation for International Cooperation.

During the delivery of the services, the program used a sign language interpreter to act as a mediator in the dialogue between the people with hearing disabilities  and the psychological first aid team. Besides the team provided counselling for the families of the target group in order to help them better deal with their deaf members and provide them with support.

It has been planned this year to include people with hearing disabilities affected by crises among other groups to benefit from PFA services.

 The PFA services are provide to the community through home visits conducted by 4 teams distributed across the five governorates of Gaza. In addition to provide people (children and adults)with psychological support, PFA is used to identify cases  that need specialized mental health intervention. These cases are ransferred to GCMHP community centers to have the necessary services.

The service includes provision of transportation for the cases which can’t reach the community centres, with the purpose of enhancing accessibility in the marginalized areas. Poor families who meet special criteria are provided with  sterilizers and hygiene bags as part of the project.