About

The Gaza Mental Health Foundation is an all-volunteer 501c3 organization that was founded in the United States in 2001.  We raise funds for the mental health work being carried out in the Gaza Strip by independent, non-sectarian organizations such as the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP).  Our support has expanded the mental health services available to individuals, especially children, furthered the reach of crisis intervention programs and advanced the training of mental health professionals and public awareness efforts to combat the stigma of mental illness in Palestinian society. 

Dr. Eyad el Sarraj greets Prof. Noam Chomsky in Gaza, October 2012

Our work was inspired by the first psychiatrist in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Eyad el Sarraj (1943-2013). Dr. El Sarraj made helping people move beyond their personal and collective suffering to recognize the basic humanity of all human beings his life’s work.

Recognizing that human rights and mental health go hand in hand, he founded the GCMHP in 1990 to meet the mental health needs of people who were exposed on a daily basis to humiliation, loss of freedom, injury, detention, destruction of homes and the loss of family members.

It is difficult to imagine any future in which Palestinians and Israelis can one day live peacefully together without the efforts of mental health workers who, following Dr. el Sarraj’s example, are endeavoring to heal the spirit of a people subjected to decades of violence and deprivation.

 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent this message to the memorial tribute held for Dr. Eyad el Sarraj on October 28, 2014:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Dear Friends,

The horror and devastation of war is evident in the photographs captured on social media and the news but the psychological trauma inflicted on all victims remain invisible to the world. Many victims suffer life-changing injuries or witnessed family members killed and homes, schools and mosques destroyed. PTSD increases with each cycle of violence. The legacy of Dr. Eyad el-Sarraj will continue in the Gaza Strip as long as organizations like the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme exist to help such victims, their staff caring for the psychologically wounded while often enduring similar trauma as those they treat. God is evident in Gaza, evident by the hearts and hands of those who spread God’s Grace and Mercy. God Bless You

 

 

 

 

WHO WE ARE

 

GMHF BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Devin G. Atallah, Ph.D. is a family psychotherapist; community health worker; educator; researcher; social justice activist and community organizer; and a clinical assistant professor of counseling psychology and applied human development at Boston University

Timothy Davis, Ph.D. is part-time Lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, a Faculty Member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and has a private practice in Child Psychology.

Betsy Eggert (Clerk) who holds a B.A. from Harvard, a J.D. from Boston University Law School and a M.Div. from Andover Newton Theological School (now part of Yale Divinity School), is an attorney-at-law.

Don McInnes (Treasurer), who holds a B.A. from Grinnell College, an M.B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, is an attorney-at-law (retired).

Othman M. Mohammad, M.D., is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Baystate Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UMass Medical School-Baystate.

Nancy Murray (President), who holds a B.A. from Harvard and a B.Phil. and Ph.D. from Oxford University, is the recently retired long-term Director of Education at the ACLU of Massachusetts and co-founder of the Gaza Mental Health Foundation, Inc.

Hilary Rantisi, who holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago, is the Director of the Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Senior Fellow with the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School where she is a thought partner in shaping the Religion, Conflict and Peace Initiative.

Alice Rothchild, who holds a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and an M.D. from Boston University Medical School, is a retired obstetrician-gynecologist, author, and filmmaker and was formerly Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harvard Medical School.

Sara Roy, Ed.D., is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University.

Bill Slaughter, M.D., M.A., divides his time between clinical practice and cross-cultural, holistic health/wellness training and advocacy focused on the U.S. and Levant.

Stewart Ting Chong, holds a dual M.S from Boston University and Project Management, Lean Six Sigma, Scrum Master and Agile Master certifications and is an adjunct faculty member at Boston University and North Eastern University. Stewart, a South African, served on the personal staff of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and was involved with a number of human rights organizations during the apartheid era, the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the South African Constitution.

Institutional affiliations are provided for identification purposes only.

 

GMHF ADVISORY PANEL

  • Donna Baranski-Walker

  • Brian Barber

  • Cindy Corrie

  • Craig Corrie

  • Bill Dienst

  • Jess Ghannam

  • Elaine Hagopian

  • David Hall

  • Bahar Hashemi

  • Gerri Haynes

  • Desmond Kaplan

  • Marwan El-Masri

  • Diab Mustafa

  • Ayman Nijim

  • Ted Rynearson

  • Therese Saliba

  • Steve Sosebee

  • Ahmed Taha

  • David Trimble

  • John Van Eenwyk

 

Contact Information

Gaza Mental Health Foundation
PO Box 380273
Cambridge, MA 02238

Email: info@gazamentalhealth.org

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