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Art for Health
Programs in this area focus on the capacity development of a range of staff with expertise in various fields who are working on social, health and protection programs including social workers, counselors and doctors capable of integrating music and expressive arts therapy into their work.
Such program design requires the intensive training of the staff of partner organizations in order to ensure the sustainability of the methodology. Music and expressive arts therapy has proven to be a very effective tool in terms of processing trauma in various contexts, and the work of Al Mada Association for Arts-Based Community Development undertaken since 2009 has shown that this is also true of the Palestinian context.
Partners include the Palestinian Ministry for Health, The Palestinian Red Crescent, Save the Children and UNRWA. In addition to the training of 220 service providers in clinics, schools and community centers in rural and urban locations in districts across Palestine, Al Mada’s specialists have also undertaken direct interventions which are carried out within a therapeutic setting to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals and to promote the individual and collective healing of communities suffering from diverse issues and human rights violations. Al Mada's music and expressive art therapists have provided counseling to refugees, youth at risk, violated women, prisoners, people with physical and mental disabilities and other vulnerable members of the community across Palestine.
The workload together with stressful and sensitive situations faced by the social and health workers, counselors, music teachers and special educators means that these professional categories need psycho-social support services themselves in order not to burn-out. As counseling for service providers is not systematic very few experience such support. Their suffering is acknowledged by Al-Mada, we believe that it is our role to provide services that could help those whose services are crucial to the community. If they themselves are drained, their support to their clients may also suffer.