Mental Health Crisis for Children in Gaza

27 May 2021 / By Social Media

Gaza Strip has been news recently owing to the escalating Israel Palestine conflict. It had come under the control of Israel after the Six Day War in 1967. Since then the Palestinians have been forced to flee their own land and become refugees. According to a report by UNICEF in 2010, the Palestinians make up with largest refugee population in the world.

In a study by Mt & Vostanis (2017), it was found that the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among children was 70.1%, which was found to be significantly related to the PTSD and anxiety among their own parents. In a report published by ‘Save the Children’ (2019), it was found that the children have faced 3 wars so far and are living with extreme emotional and psychological distress, are facing poverty and economic hardships and have a sense of entrapment.

In 2017, it was estimated by United Nations that “25% of children in Gaza (290,000 children) still needed continuous psychosocial support.” ‘Save the Children’ also found that the children have high levels of resilience even though they have an uncertain future. Thus it concludes, it is imperative for the international community to ensure a long-lasting solution for the ongoing crisis and also for the donors to fully fund for the mental and physical well-being of the children. Significant interventions have to be taken to provide rehabilitation to children as well as their caregivers. The capacity of the local organizations can also be built upon to provide such services.

References:
A Decade of Distress: The harsh and unchanging reality for children living in the Gaza Strip (2019).https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/node/16724/pdf/a_decade_of_distress_online_-_v3.1.pdf

Humanitarian Needs Overview: Occupied Palestinian Territory. (2017).
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/IDPersons/Call/MedicalAidPalestine.docx

Mt, A. A., & Vostanis, P. (2017). Effect of trauma on mental health of parents and children in the middle area of the Gaza Strip. Intellect Dev Disabil, 3(4), 555619.

The Situation of Palestinian children, UNICEF. (2010).
https://www.unicef.org/oPt/PALESTINIAN_SITAN-final.pdf.

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