Strengthening mental health care in the health system in the occupied Palestinian territory

The authors describe a programme in a rural area of the West Bank (occupied Palestinian territory) developed in 2005 by Médicos del Mundo Spain, in coordination with the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health. The main features include: 1) working with the Palestinian Authority in order to reinforce the existing public health system, rather than developing a parallel one; 2) providing a building, and other long lasting material resources, to the Community Mental Health Centre and the public health system; 3) supporting the incorporation of human resources in mental health teams in the public system; and 4) providing capacity building for mental health and primary care teams, through intensive on the job training, and providing didactic material for mental health and primary care professionals. The integration of mental health care into primary health care structures in conflict settings provides the opportunity of addressing severe and common disorders in their current situation.

de Val D’Espaux, Susana; Madi, Bassam; Nasif, Jamil; Arabasi, Mohamad; -Raddad, Sa’eda; Madi, Amal; Abu-Alrob, Noha; Fernández-Liria, Alberto