Helping Gaza's Children with Mental Health Needs & PTSD



Bill Slaughter, MD works in mental health in the healthcare field in Boston and a board member for the Gaza Mental Health Foundation. Dr. Slaughter also spends his time volunteering in the Middle East. Slaughter volunteers in countries such as Israel and Palestine, specifically In Gaza. After realizing his love of language, specifically Arabic, in college, Slaughter decided to take his knowledge in the healthcare field to another part of the world. He felt it was his duty to advocate and educate as an American citizen. Though he does not primarily work one on one with the patients, Slaughter trains his colleagues in the Middle East on how to treat patients with mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression, and more specifically trauma. Bill tells us that the most common request for training in Palestine is what to do with people, specifically children, with trench nightmares. A lot of children have reoccurring nightmares as result of the violence they have witnesses in their country. The trauma that these people live with has everlasting effects and doesn’t just stop when the violence is over. This is known as secondary trauma. Bill and his team are able to use tactics such as art therapy to help children change their thought processes and to hopefully derail their nightmares. The trauma in Gaza is an extremely unfortunate situation, but Bill Slaughter and his colleagues are working hard in the Middle East to ensure that someone is advocating for Gaza.

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