Ministry of Health launches 5-year mental health strategy, June 2015

15 JUNE 2015:  RAMALLAH  –  The Ministry of Health, supported by the European Cooperation and WHO, launched the National Mental Health Strategy for 2015–2019 today at a ceremony in Ramallah. A diverse group of stakeholders and partners collaborated to develop the new strategy, which uses a comprehensive public health approach to address the specific mental health needs of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, especially relevant in view of the ongoing violence of protracted occupation.

The human rights-based strategy emphasizes three priorities: trauma and crisis intervention, integration of mental health services in general health facilities and community-based mental health services.  The five-year blueprint is expected to improve coordination among the many donors and server providers in the sectors.

Minister of Health H.E. Jawwad Awad highlighted the importance of continued international support for Palestine’s efforts to meet international standards in health: “The collaboration and support of our partners helps us to ensure the sustainability of services so that every patient in Palestine will enjoy the full right to access high quality and safe health services, including mental health services.”

Mr. Paolo Curradi, the EU's acting Head of Cooperation, highlighted that ”a lack of investment in the mental health sector and a lack of awareness and understanding in society contribute to the stigmatization of people in mental health distress, and affects their well-being. This five-year road-map is concerned with placing the health and well-being of the individual at the center, rather than his illness."  

WHO global and regional action plans provided a basis for the multi-sectoral approach which approaches mental health through coordinated services of the health, education, and social sectors, stressing promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, care and recovery.

For further information please contact:

WHO West Bank and Gaza office:  02-540-0595

Ministry of Health
Director of International Cooperation, Maria Y Al-Aqra'
Tel: 00972 9 2387275 /

Document symbol: WHO_MENHEALTH
Document Type: Article, Press Release
Document Sources: European Union (EU), World Health Organization (WHO)
Subject: Assistance, Health
Publication Date: 15/06/2015