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Due to the military occupation and numerous violent wars that occur in the Gaza Strip, current research depicts that these occurrences not only suscept children to physical harm, but are also detrimental to children’s mental health, causing lasting consequences if left untreated. The purpose of this project is to understand and analyze the impact of the wars, specifically the 2021 war, and the military occupation on Gaza’s pediatric mental health. Unfortunately, children in Gaza, as well as parents, teachers, health care providers, and mental health counselors have the unique problem of navigating mental health crises in children who experience continuous violence, which makes treatment and healing even more difficult to uphold. The impact of war and violence leads to alterations in pediatric behavior, such as night terrors, nocturnal enuresis, anorexia, and outburst of crying or fighting. Specific mental health diagnoses associated with Gaza’s children include generalized anxiety disorder and new-onset separation anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and suicidal ideation. Culture also plays a significant role in the way in
which children feel comfortable expressing their feelings, which is often misinterpreted by nongovernment organizations from around the world, especially from Western countries. Current mental health interventions include SSRI medication therapy, Cognitive Behavioral therapy, and pediatric mental health camps organized by non-government organizations, but funds are severely lacking, and with every violent occurrence, hope decreases.
Warsi, Noura, "The Impact of the War in Gaza on Pediatric Mental Health" (2023). Honors Theses. 3690.
Honors Thesis-Open Access