A Mental Health Crisis: What It Means to Grow-up in Palestine

Published May 21st, 2021 - 09:18 GMT
A Mental Health Crisis: What It Means to Grow-up in Palestine
The world speaks so highly of the importance of mental health, and yet they are turning a blind eye to the severe trauma that young kids are facing everyday in Palestine. Wake up world, the children of Palestine need us! (shutterstock)

On May 21st, it was said that a ceasefire was agreed on between Palestine and Israel. Up until the ceasefire, more than 200 Palestinians were killed, including more than 60 children. However, we all know that this does not mean that the war crimes against Palestine will stop. This is just an agreement to stop bombing Gaza and killing Palestinians right now. But the massacre in Palestine is still ongoing, and it will not stop until real justice is served. Just after the ceasefire, Israeli soldiers stormed Al Aqsa Mosque, a holy site in Islam, firing tear gas at Palestinians after the Friday prayer on May 21st.

The inhumane attacks on the people of Palestine have been taking place for decades now. It is just that now more people are becoming aware of the war crimes and ethnic cleansing attempts that are happening. However, the people and children of Palestine have been living under a constant state of threat and survival for decades. And even though a ceasefire has been reached now, thousands are left to live with the aftermath of losing a loved one, becoming homeless or dealing with the traumatic events that they endured. Many of whom are children, who never had the chance to experience what being a child really is, because they grew up on the sounds of missiles and bombs rather than the sounds of birds and songs. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Rarely do the children of Palestine get the chance to be just that, children. They never had the chance to experience what it means to be a child because that right was ripped right out of their hands the moment they were born in Palestine. This is particularly true in Gaza. With Gaza being boarded between Egypt and Israel, Palestinians living there feel trapped and like they have no control. Children growing up in a place where there is a constant state of threat and a deep sense of entrapment can intensify the impact of trauma, says experts.

According to a 2020 study by Frontiers in Psychiatry, 88.4% of children and adolescents in Gaza experienced personal trauma, whereas 83.7% witnessed trauma to others, and 88.3% witnessed the demolitions of homes. Furthermore, the study suggests that the strongest war trauma occurs when someone is subject to all three, personal trauma, witnessing trauma and home demolitions. And unfortunately, the children of Gaza are most likely to experience all three. 

The mental health of children continues to deteriorate by the day as they face war crimes and injustice. At the end of the day, these are children and they deserve to be loved and cared for. But instead they are met with guns to their heads and grenades in their homes. The people of Palestine are facing a human rights crisis that entails deep mental health distress that everyone is subject to, especially young kids. Therefore, there needs to be immediate action taken to help those affected by this genocide, until real justice can be served. 

The world speaks so highly of the importance of mental health, and yet they are turning a blind eye to the severe trauma that young kids are facing everyday in Palestine. Wake up world, the children of Palestine need us! 

 


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