Statement of solidarity by Dr Samar Zebian and Guy Shennan

A statement in solidarity with the people of Palestine

We are mental health professionals who have been working alongside our Palestinian counterparts for several years, and also one-on-one with Palestinians within both Occupied Palestine and the global diaspora.

At the request of colleagues in Palestine, we are currently running a course in solution-focused brief therapy, which has been halted by the humanitarian crisis facing our Palestinian course participants, their colleagues, families, friends and fellow country people.

We know, from our experiences working with Palestinians, how the violence of the Israeli colonial project severely compromises the mental health of individuals and communities and blunts the development of a vision for a better future. The present emergency, precipitated by the forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and invasions of the Al Aqsa Mosque, is a stark example of this ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people.

We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality. We stand with the Palestinian people who continue to refuse all aspects of racial discrimination, persecution, systematic oppression and limitations to their right to learn, thrive and grow.

We call on you, as fellow mental health workers, to join the growing numbers of people speaking out and taking action against Israel’s policies of dispossession and ethnic cleansing. We invite you to co-create new ways within your organisations to better support a safe and dignified life for the Palestinian people.

Guy Shennan (London, UK), and Dr. Samar Zebian (Beirut, Lebanon)

17 May 2021