UK hosts Israeli mental-health workers

Representatives from the Israeli mental-health organisation Enosh were in London this week to announce plans for a joint Israeli and Palestinian centre to help build psychological resilience during on-going trauma within conflict zones.

One of the Israeli delegates was from the southern town of Sderot, whose own home was destroyed by rocket fire.

Hilla Hadas, executive director of Enosh, presented the project at the International Mental Health conference, held at King's College, London.

The centre is to be based in Jerusalem and offers educational, psychological and psychiatric training support to Israeli and Palestinian mental health workers dealing with people suffering from mental-health issues as a result of the ongoing conflict.

Dr Hadas said: "Around 70 per cent of the Israeli population are dealing with some kind of post-traumatic stress, and we assume there are similar problems among Palestinians. We want to work with the Palestinians to find a way of helping both sides and reduce hatred. We want to create professional bridges for peace."

Dr Hadas said the centre is to be co-sponsored by Enosh and the World Federation for Mental Health, in addition to other contributors. "We are also going to ask the Israeli government for help."

    Last updated: 1:30pm, August 28 2008