Under the Auspices of the Ministry of Labor the PCC hosts an open day promoting labor registration for the chronically mentally ill
The Palestinian Counseling Center, under the auspices of the Palestinian Ministry of Labor (MOL) and with support from Diakonia, jointly held an open day at the center’s offices in Azzun (Qalqilya district) calling for chronically mentally ill patients to register at the labor offices of the MOL.
The event included the attendance of Ms. Rana Nashashibi, Director-General of the PCC, Mr. Khaldoun Musleh, Director of Labor in Qalqilya, Mr. Jamil Abu Zeit, Director of the Committee of Social Affairs in Qalqilya, as well as representatives from Medicines du Monde, Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), Al Quds Open University, the Ministry of Health Qalqilya and Nablus branches, the Youth Group to Support Youth Issues, and the Counseling Center to Support the Victims of Drugs. In addition, a number of psychiatric patients and their families who are beneficiaries of the PCC’s rehabilitation program also took part in the day’s activities.
The day began with a welcome speech from Ms. Nashashibi and Mr. Musleh, followed by presentations from the PCC’s rehabilitation program for the chronically mentally ill as well as the Ministry of Labor. The floor then opened for questions and discussion.
Event attendees stressed the importance of establishing a national plan to employ those with special needs, particularly people with mental disabilities. It was suggested that this be done with coordination between the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health, and civil society organizations.
The discussion also drew the conclusion that the registration labor law – which requires that 5% of jobs be dedicated for people with special needs – be properly activated, with participants explaining that employers need to be held accountable to this provision. It is important to be aware of the link between rehabilitation of chronically mentally ill patients and access to work, which contributes to positive mental health as a sense of dignity, and provides them with a source of income to support their families. The presence of protected workshops is crucial to ensure that the chronically mentally ill have access to work that takes into consideration their needs and abilities.