Support to Gaza Community Mental health Programme

Project completed

By supporting the provision of quality mental health services through Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Switzerland contributes to strengthening the resilience of vulnerable people in the Gaza Strip, where distress, psychological and psychiatric problems continue to increase after more than a decade of Israeli closure and intra-Palestinian divide, repeated traumatic conflicts and the degradation of socioeconomic conditions. Addressing distress and traumas also contributes to the prevention of radicalization.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Palestinian Authority
Human rights
Conflict & fragility
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Conflict prevention
01.03.2019 - 31.12.2021
CHF  1’840’000
Background The security situation in the Gaza Strip has deteriorated to an alarming level, and the socioeconomic conditions worsened gravely as a result of the Israeli occupation and closure and the intra-Palestinian division. Excessively high rates of poverty and unemployment, acute shortages of electricity, fuel and medical supplies, poor quality of water, dilapidated infrastructure, limited opportunities for treatment abroad, movement restrictions, delayed reconstruction and salary cuts have considerably contributed to deterioration of the social fabric and family ties, leading, among other things, to a sharp increase in Gender Based Violence (GBV) against women and girls. These compacted challenges have had considerable impact on the wellbeing and mental health of Gazans.
Objectives Enhance and sustain wellbeing of the Palestinian society through inclusive, integrated, research-based and quality specialized community mental health services (see Annex 10), guided by the principles of justice, humanity and respect for Human Rights.
Target groups
  • Direct (32,109 persons) and indirect (308,586 persons) victims of Human Rights violations and traumatic events, including children and youth under 18 suffering mental and psychological disorders.
  • CBOs, NGOs, UNRWA and medical care facilities supported by GCMHP to strengthen their capacity in providing non-specialized mental health and psychosocial services, in line with its task shifting approach. (2,699 professionals)
  • MoH & medical NGOs and faculties on development of national community mental health system
Medium-term outcomes
  • Contribute to improving the mental health situation of the population in the Gaza Strip.
  • Support the capacity of professionals and other actors to provide appropriate focused care.
  • Strengthen GCMHP’s leadership role through model procedures, protocols and research.

Expected results:  

  • Wellbeing of 32,109 persons receiving preventive interventions at community level, and counselling and specialized therapeutic and rehabilitation services at GCMHP's community centres improved.
  • Rapid response activated in emergencies.
  • Capacity of 2,699 staff - GCHMP and those of other organizations working in mental health and psychosocial support -  strengthened.
  • Negative impact of Human Rights violations on mental health conditions better understood.
  • GCMHP becomes a resource centre for evidence- and HR- based mental health and psychosocial support.
  • GCMHP`s continuous organizational improvement ensured and sustained.

Results from previous phases:  

  • Services: 36,055 persons (65% women) benefited from GCMHP`s community intervention and awareness raising activities, 18,439 persons (45% women) received rehabilitation and specialized therapeutic services; 3,376 persons (66% women) used the free telephone counselling service; 3,672 persons (61% women) received training.
  •  Response to the 2014 war crisis, (1 January to 30 June 2015) psychological first aid provided to 7,153 persons (28% men, 30% women, 23% boys and 19% girls); specialized services provided to 545 persons (49% women) in the community centres.
  • Systemic level: institutionalization of the “professional supervision” or "care for caregivers" techniques which were adopted by many service providers;  introduction of “Autism” as a new field to the Palestinian mental health care system; further development of the high diploma for qualified mental health professionals.
  • Development of the "Research Development Strategy" in cooperation with international expert from East London University
  • Finalization of a comprehensive gender mainstreaming policy manual integrated within GCMHP policies, interventions, and activities.
  • Organization of the 6th international conference entitled “Mental Health and Human Rights in Palestine”. (2 days, more than 800 professionals)

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO

Other partners
Switzerland, Norway and Sweden cover about 65% of GCMHP`s annual budget and form a consortium led by SDC. Other donors include Gaza Mental Health Foundation and Grassroots International (USA), Quakers Services (Norway), Bread for the World and GIZ (Germany), Welfare Association and Just Act Middle East (UK), TROCAIRE (Ireland), United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (Switzerland), Consulate General of France.
Coordination with other projects and actors Palestinian, Israeli and UN organizations receiving support from SDC, such as ICHR, PCHR, PHR, HaMoked, UNRWA, WHO.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’840’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’624’212
Project phases

Phase 1 01.03.2019 - 31.12.2021   (Completed)