Gaza Community Center (GCC) (formerly before 2004 called, the Gaza clinic) is one of the three branches of the GCMHP. In keeping with GCHMP’s vision, values and strategic plan, the Center serves the citizens of the Strip through community-based social and psychological services, with special emphasis on vulnerable groups such as children, women, and victims of torture and human rights violations. The Center’s densely populated catchment area covers Gaza city and the northern part of the Strip.
The Center remains committed to engaging with and learning from the local community as a guiding principle of practice; to connecting mental health and human rights; and to integrating therapeutic interventions within a broader campaign to contribute in serving Gaza’s 1.8 million residents achieve a decent and dignified life.
Within its own setting, the Center's multidisciplinary team provides a range of specialized clinical services to individuals and families. In some cases, the services are combined with drug therapy, which is prescribed for the patients within the Centre.
Through home visits and outreach to schools, kindergartens, and workplaces, Center staff strive to make their knowledge and skills widely accessible so that parents and caregivers are better equipped to manage their problems and the community itself becomes a more healthy and nurturing environment.
Consistent with this emphasis on raising the general level of public awareness (vis-à-vis the needs of children and the stages and phases of their development and the linkage between human rights-including gender rights and social and psychological well-being), the Center actively participates in GCMHP media campaigns, in workshops and awareness with university students, and in trainings with local civil servants and staff from non-governmental organizations.
The Centre is well equipped with multi-purposes hall used for meetings, trainings, study days, and workshops.
Center activities which are unique within the GCHMP network include:
Electroencephalogram (EEG): this service was started since the establishment of GCMHP. It is used as part of the clinical assessment process, to exclude any organic factors contributing to some of the mental disorders. This service is available for GCMHP clients and others who are referred from other sources.
Occupational therapy: this service was established in 1991 and it is the first and sole service in Gaza. It is for chronically mentally ill patients to receive life-skills training and job-oriented rehabilitation. It helps the people who suffer from mental disorders to recover from their impairment in their daily functioning and to rehabilitate them and re-integrate them into the community to be more independent as possible.
Physiotherapy: this service was established in 1998 and is a complimentary service to help torture survivors and human rights victims overcome the physical consequences of torture as well as assisting people with mental disorders who are suffering from somatic symptoms as part of their disorder, to deal with their physical complaints.
Telephone counseling: established in 2000 during the 2nd Intifada, this free, confidential “hotline” provides counselling and psychological advice, screening and if necessary, referral for people whose fear of social stigma might otherwise deter them from seeking mental health services and for those who are unable to access the services during crises. This service runs for 12 hours daily for five days a week. This service is also considered a source of referral for people who are in need for specialized intervention.