Through the advocacy department, the PCC works with interest groups, policy makers as well as ministries in order to develop policies related to mental health on the national level, as well as provide the international community with credible information on the effects of the Israeli occupation on mental health in Jerusalem. The main objective of the department is to improve policies, procedures, systems and practices related to the mental health of individuals and the Palestinian society at large.
Period: 2005 - present.
Location: Throughout the West Bank, with a special focus on Jerusalem.
The role of PCC and partners: PCC conducts advocacy on the local, regional and international levels. Partners include the Building Balance Group (which includes 10 organizations active in the mental health field); Coalition for Jerusalem (PCC leads this Coalition); PNGO; the Mental Health Thematic Group; the National Steering Committee for Mental Health; the National Referral Committee; Al-Muntada Network to End Domestic and Family Violence. The PCC is also part of a number of regional and international networks.
Programs that have been implemented by the advocacy department include the following: development of policies related to mental health, especially related to the mental well being of psychiatric patients; contribute to the development of a national plan of action on mental health; provide the general public and the international community with credible information on the effects of the Israeli occupation on mental health, especially in Jerusalem.
Results achieved: The availability of credible sources of information on the effects of the Israeli occupation on mental health in Palestine, including residency rights campaign material. Campaigns with the aim of enhancing the rights of psychiatric patients were launched.
Impact on target groups: several policy papers have been produced and used for advocacy purposes on residency rights on the international level. In response to a PCC campaign aimed at ensuring rights of psychiatric patients to access work opportunities, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) registered psychiatric patients in employment offices of the MOL. In response to advocacy carried out towards the Ministry of Health on providing emergency transportation to psychiatric patients, a protocol was signed between the Red Crescent and the MOH for transporting patients to the nearest hospital.
Funding sources: CCFD, Bread for the World, Diakonia, Oxfam-Novib, MDM