Dr. Yasser Abu-Jamei MD, MSc
Dr. Yasser Abu-Jamei MD, MSc, a psychiatrist, is Director General of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme. He was born in 1974 in Saudi Arabia and has received degrees in the mental health field from universities in the UK, Germany, Lithuania and Gaza. He has lived in Gaza-Palestine since 2000 and has been working at the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) since 2004, during which time he occupied different supervisory, clinical and research roles. In January 2014, following the death of the GCMHP’s founder Dr. Eyad elSarraj, he became its Director General.
On July 21, 2014, during that year’s Israeli military offensive, 28 members of Dr. Abu-Jamei’s extended family – including 19 children – were killed by a missile strike as they were sitting down to their Iftar dinner to break the Ramadan fast. His research has focused on the impact of ongoing violence and the 15-year-long blockade Gaza on the physical and psychological health of children and their caregivers, and the connection between public health and human rights. A member of the task force that developed the National Mental Health Strategy in Palestine, Dr. Abu-Jamei has received several honors, including recognition in 2015 from the Said Foundation for his work in developing the mental health sector in Gaza and the GCMHP crisis response plan after the 2014 war on Gaza, the Alumnus of the Year award from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 2016 and the Community Resilience Award from the Rebuilding Alliance in 2021.
His 2023 ‘Trauma and Hope’ nation-wide speaking tour has been organized by the Boston-based Gaza Mental Health Foundation, Inc.
The Gaza Community Health Programme
The Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP) is the leading Palestinian non-governmental organization providing mental health services to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. GCMHP is committed to aiding women, children, and victims of violence, torture, and human rights violations. GCMHP has dozens of staff, a main facility and research center in Gaza City, and community mental health clinics in Gaza City, Khan Younis, the Deir el-Balah refugee camp, and the Jabalya refugee camp and as well as crisis intervention programs, a rehabilitation program for drug abusers, a Children’s Project, and a Training and Education Department that offers a postgraduate diploma in Community Mental Health and Human Rights and courses for teachers and nurses. It has given individual psychiatric and family therapy to tens of thousands of people and seeded three women’s groups that do psycho-social and empowerment work across the Gaza Strip.