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Psychologists for Social Responsibility Grants Peace Prize to Gaza Community Mental Health Programme

#Articles & Analysis#Human Rights Defense
August 2004


Psychologists for Social Responsibility is an American organization based in Washington, has hundreds of members, and seeks to spread the cultures of peace, re-conciliation, solidarity, and means of non-violence.

The Programme was selected for this award among many organizations for adopting and enforcing the use of non-violent means and spreading the cultures of peace.

The award will be presented on July 31st at the (PsySR) meeting concurrent with the American Psychological Convention in Hawaii.

GCMHP sent a STATEMENT(please see below)to the PsySR to thank them for granting their award to GCMHP. This statement is also to be read at the award ceremony.

**The Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) Distinguished Contribution to Building Cultures of Peace Award is an annual award, begun in 1998, given to an organization that effectively transforms cultures of violence into cultures of peace by promoting values such as respect for human rights, gender equality, nonviolence, reconciliation, tolerance and solidarity, and sustainable development. The award is a plaque with an inscription honoring the organization for its work. It is presented at the PsySR Annual Awards Ceremony during the American Psychological Association Convention.





July 13, 2004



On the Occasion of Receiving the

Psychologists for Social Responsibility Award

We of Gaza Community Mental Health Programme would like to express our great happiness upon receiving this award from the Psychologists for Social Responsibility.


It is a great honor for us to receive such an award which carries so much meaning for us, since we live in especially difficult circumstances in




The fact that a representative of GCMHP was not able to attend this ceremony to receive this award and read this letter is further evidence of the difficulties that we face in this part of the world, particularly living under conditions of occupation, siege, and loss of freedom of movement.


These problems, and many others, make the life of Palestinians extremely harsh and increase their daily suffering. This misery is experienced at all levels and by different groups in Palestinian society – particularly women and children.


We of GCMHP share some of the same principles of PSR, such as carrying messages of social justice and peace, and letting others know what are the realities in the daily lives of people who suffer – and in this case the people of Palestine in their struggles to live in dignity and peace.


This award provides a voice to the outside world from Palestinians who are under occupation, suffering tremendously, who wish to have genuine freedom and peace.


We accept this award on behalf of all mental health professionals in


, who are facing tremendous difficulties and challenges. On many occasions in their work, they place themselves in life-endangering situations in order to help families who are living in hot-zone areas, where many are subjected to the violence of home demolitions and killings by military occupation forces, and which creates conditions under which it is difficult for human beings to get their basic survival needs met.


We promise you to remain faithful to the principles in which we all believe based upon the fundamental idea that humans have the right to a life of freedom and dignity.


We will continue our work from here in


, and we are confident that the good people of PSR will continue to do theirs. In that way, we are surely together in our mutual pursuits of social responsibility, justice, and peace.


We send our deepest regards to you from besieged





Community Mental Health Programme

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