PMED’s Palestine Program Director Sherein Abdeen MA was one of four international clinicians participating in a panel at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry held in New York City during October 2016. Ms. Abdeen’s presentation, A Comprehensive School-Based Training Program for Student Mental Health in Palestine, reported on a year-long PMED training program undertaken during 2015-2016 with grant funding made available through the Deutsche Gesellshaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)’s Open Regional Fund. The program had been developed by Ms. Abdeen and PMED USA Medical Director Elizabeth Berger MD MPhil and implemented by Ms. Abdeen at a private school in East Jerusalem.
Through this project, the entire school community had participated in trainings, workshops, and activities–including the full school staff and enrolled students, with all parents invited as well. A multi-faceted program supported resilience among all students and devoted special planning to identified students with individual needs. The response of parents and teachers to the training program had been extremely enthusiastic and quantitative measured outcomes, as reported by Ms. Abdeen, were indicative of its success.
The PMED presentation at the AACAP meeting, attended by PMED founder and Executive Director Michael Morse MD MPA and by Dr. Berger, was received with much interest and discussion from the audience of professional clinicians. Ms. Abdeen’s report was followed by a series of presentations describing school-based programs in Korea, Columbia, and Lebanon. The panel overall, entitled School-Based Resilience-Building Interventions for Youth Exposed to Trauma in Resource-Poor Settings, was co-chaired by Anna Ordonez MD and John Fayyad MD. It was a great pleasure for PMED’s work to be showcased among international colleagues during this exciting event.