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Israel Journal of Psychiatry


Background: The Palestinian population residing in East Jerusalem is characterized by high rates of poverty and unemployment and is subject to discrimination in various forms, including infrastructure of mental health services. Little is known about the help seeking needs and practices of East Jerusalem residents. Method: We examined socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of a consecutive sample Palestinian residents from East Jerusalem (N=50) who accessed a specially assigned psychiatric clinic in Israel. In addition, we examined the psychological factors associated with emotional distress among these service-users upon entry to care. Participants completed a survey in Arabic that included a socio-demographic questionnaire and measures assessing emotional distress, perceived exposure to discrimination and social support, and mental health stigma. Results: Participants reported high levels of emotional distress. Female gender, low socioeconomic status, higher perceived exposure to discrimination and higher perceived social support were associated with increased emotional distress. Conclusions: Findings add to the scarce body of knowledge on specific mental health characteristics of East Jerusalem Palestinian residents.





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