Health care in Gaza: Mental health support for frontline workers

In war and conflict, emergency workers witness and experience terrible violence and suffering. Protecting health care and ensuring its effectiveness includes providing appropriate mental health support for frontline workers.

After the cease-fire between Gaza and Israel on 26 August 2014, medical staff, fire fighters, ambulance drivers and others frontline workers were left to manage and overcome the traumatic events experienced and the subsequent extreme stress and pressure that they felt.

To help ensure their well-being and health, the ICRC and the local Ministry of Health launched the "Helping the helpers" programme. Between September 2014 and September 2015, more than 400 people benefited directly from the programme, and 24 staff were trained to facilitate psychosocial support programmes in six major Gaza hospitals and at other emergency services facilities.

In this short video, a paramedic and a nurse describe how this programme helped them, while ICRC health staff and a Ministry of Health facilitator explain why ensuring frontline workers' well-being is so important for protecting health care.

Health Care in Danger (HCiD) project