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Dr. Samah Jabr

Trailblazer in Palestinian Mental Health

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Date of Birth:



East Jerusalem, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Dr. Samah Jabr has made significant contributions to the field of psychiatry in Palestine, focusing on the treatment of personal and collective traumas and addressing the mental health implications of the Israeli occupation and other societal challenges. She stands out for her dedication to improving mental health care in a region with limited resources and high demand for such services.

Brief bio

Dr. Samah Jabr is a Palestinian psychiatrist, psychotherapist, writer, and the Chair of the Mental Health Unit at the Palestinian Ministry of Health. She has become a key figure in addressing the mental health crisis in Palestine, especially in the context of the Israeli occupation and other societal challenges. Her work extends beyond clinical psychiatry to include education, advocacy, and writing.

Major Milestones


  • Education: Graduated from Al Quds University (Jerusalem), Pierre-et-Marie-Curie University and Diderot University (Paris), and the Israeli Institute of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy...See More

  • Professional Role: Served as Head of the Ramallah Community Mental Health Centre.

  • Leadership Position: Appointed as Chair of the Mental Health Unit at the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

  • Authorship: Authored the book "Beyond the Frontlines: Columns from a Palestinian Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist under Occupation" (2018).

  • Covid-19 Response: Played a pivotal role in addressing the mental health crisis during the coronavirus pandemic as the director of the mental health unit of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health.

  • Mental Health Services Development: Has overseen the expansion of mental health services across the West Bank, addressing both individual and collective psychological traumas.

  • Covid-19 Mental Health Response: Devised the mental health response plan for Covid-19 in Palestine, managing psychological distress in quarantine centers and the wider community.

  • Community Impact: Works as a clinician, medical trainer, and advisor for local and international NGOs, significantly impacting community mental health.

  • Public Awareness and Advocacy: Raised awareness about the psychological impacts of the Israeli occupation and other societal issues through her writings and lectures.

  • Innovative Approach in Psychiatry: Adapted psychiatric practice to suit the unique context of Palestine, addressing misconceptions about mental health and challenging societal beliefs.

Date of Last Update: 
December 30, 2023

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