Study: Al-Aqsa flood created largest mental health crisis in Israel's history

A study published in the British medical journal The Lancet showed that the entire population of Israel was affected in some way by the fallout from the Al-Aqsa flood, which was unprecedented in the scope and magnitude of the psychological trauma.

The study touched on a “massive national psychological trauma” due to the number of post-traumatic symptoms and cases of depression and crisis, indicating a “noticeable impact” on the mental health of Israelis.

Since the day Hamas launched its attack, calls received on the “Eran” emergency line have almost doubled, according to Sherry Daniels, officer of this telephone and electronic platform for psychological assistance.

According to Daniels, “there have been very wide circles of insecurity,” which touched on the situation of ambulance personnel, police, and families of the dead and hostages, and “everyone in Israel sympathizes with the victims.”

Daniels pointed to the situation of children who do not leave their families when night falls, or adults who are so anxious and remorseful for not being able to save their relatives that they are unable to concentrate.

The Director General of the Health Ministry, Moshe Bar Siman Tov, revealed that out of an estimated 9.7 million population, 100,000 people have been victims of accidents since October 7 that can cause psychological trauma, and about 200,000 people have been displaced.

a weapon of terror

Health Minister Uriel Busso, for his part, acknowledged that Israel was facing “the biggest mental health crisis in its history”, even though the region was already suffering by “huge differences”.

Today, the real assessment of psychological needs is still premature, because they only appear after exposure to the trigger and are not noticed until they last more than a month is, according to Milka Adrai, a psychologist at the One Family Association, which provides assistance, explained to the public in Israel.

Adrai explained that “Hamas uses intimidation as a weapon of war” to reach out to the group through the individual and to traumatize a group by reliving past traumas, such as “displacement, war, and the Holocaust.” Associated with “continuous waves”.

In view of the worsening needs and acute shortage of specialists, the Israeli government announced a recruitment campaign and in mid-January decided to give additional resources of 1.4 billion shekels (over 350 million euros) to the mental health sector.

Civil society is mobilizing to combat this situation. Virtual reality helmets have been used for therapeutic purposes, and Cherry Daniels says, “We're trying to fill the gaps in the system.”

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