Dear Friend of Herzog Hospital
All eyes are once again on Israel as we are attempting to put an end to the constant barrage of missiles that have been fired at Israel for over 11 years now. This time, we hope that the punishment the Israel Air force is inflicting on Hamas will finally bring peace and quiet to Southern Israel. As you have seen on the news, Hamas has fired hundreds of missiles at Israel, with sirens being sounded as far north as Tel Aviv. You also know that Israelis are resilient, and everybody is trying to go through their daily lives as normally as possible. Waiting to hear the next siren go off though.
The heightened sense of awareness has triggered stress and trauma in so many Israelis, many who have been living with the missile threats for years.
Herzog’s Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma, as it has done so many times in the past, has once again stepped forward to provide the needed support services to help Israelis cope.
As you will see from the Center’s Director Prof Danny Brom’s email below, the Trauma team assessed what was needed, and developed a plan of action. It was important for them not to duplicate services that were already being provided. They set up support services by phone and at the Psychotrauma Center in five languages- Russian, Amharic, English, French, and Hebrew.
I think you will find that Danny Brom’s poignant email below, written last Thursday, will give you a good sense of the feeling in Israel, and the role the Trauma Center is playing.
hope and pray that in the coming days there will be a complete
cessation of missiles being fired at Israel.
International Director, Resource Development
Today we are in a war. We don't know yet whether it will be a small war or a war that will roll on and develop in a bigger war. We only know that we are back in our tense mode, waiting what will be and thinking what we can do.The most fearful part is that as parents we don't know whether our children will be called up for military reserve duty. That is a very frightening thought.
At the Trauma Center during the morning we had an emergency meeting discussing how we can make ourselves most useful in this situation. We received a request for help from a phone line for parents of young children in the south, asking us to jump in, because they don't have the knowledge to help in emergency situations. So we had a planning session and decided to open our phone lines specifically for parenting issues. We have a lot of experience in this field since we have operated a service for parents and young children in Sderot for more than 8 years. In those years we have done extensive research and learnt that the best way to protect children is to work with the parents.
We have always been against duplication of services. We updated our information and published our service in the media. The first woman who called is a mother of 8 children. She with wanted to speak about how frightening the situation is and to learn how she can calm down her children. At the same time a mother called in panic and told that her daughter was called up for emergency recruitment. During the day we also were in contact with the Peace of Mind Group that now is New Brunswick, NJ and with our coordinator who is also preparing the next group that is going to London in two weeks. And at the same time we know that many more groups of combat soldiers will need this service.
We are now recruiting our staff and additional volunteers to be able to answer the questions that arise in the families that now live in the safe room. Once this phase will be over we will need to strengthen our early childhood programs that help parents get out of survival mode and into a more healthy mode that allows creative parenting and will ensure that children can grow up healthily despite all that is happening.
For those who would like to help, I would like to say that this is the time to realize that every day of massive bombing, creates havoc that takes many months to repair.We have done over 60 parent-child groups in Sderot and groups for parents alone in many places. Every comprehensive group costs around 8.000 dollars and is done in conjunction with local day-care centers. Any idea and concrete help for funding these activities will be appreciated.
We all wish and pray for the quick end to this onslaught.
Danny Brom, Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma, Herzog Hospital Jerusalem ww.traumaweb.org