We offer an urgent and immediate response to the pressing needs within the Israeli public mental health care system resulting from the traumatic events of October 7, 2023. This is an enablement of an adequate response to the ensuing trauma, grief, and loss.
This action offers the immediate implementation of dedicated capacity-building programs for 1,000 professional mental health caregivers.
Budgets for mental health treatment in the State of Israel have been in decline for years. This is a process that seriously harms society as a whole. The attack of October 7, 2023, created severe needs for treatment of trauma, prevention of pathology and increased resilience.
The aftermath of the unprecedented emergency, the scope of the events and their consequences, created an acute need for immediate, advanced, targeted professional training in the fields of trauma, grief and loss for hundreds of therapists, who are not currently equipped with the appropriate tools.
The immediate skill enhancement of approximately a thousand professional caregivers will enable an expansion of the trauma care training system in Israel, and the empowerment of the relevant professional community. It will institute the professional adjustments necessary in order to answer the unprecedented communal needs emanating from the events of 10/7.
The needs are immediate and their scale and number are larger than anything the State of Israel has ever known.
The need to treat
Those who have experienced acute, severe trauma: evacuees, families of abductees and missing persons, families of soldiers on the front, families of fallen and wounded soldiers, first responders and medical teams, identification teams, soldiers who are exposed to traumatic experiences and more.
There is a professional need to
integrate different modalities
Formulate individually tailored treatment plans for each patient. This is in view of the urgency, scope, and complexity of the various cases. In addition, this integration is required for producing professional materials, establishing a knowledge/information bank, cooperation, and knowledge sharing.
There is an organizational need for the formulation of methods of action
And integration of treatment for first-response mental health as well as in-depth interventions in order to respond to the current, horrific situation. This requires treatment of traumatic bereavement, profound uncertainty about the fate of family members and more. The need applies to the treatment of individuals and group care as well as community care in the general population.
Mitigation of the heavy demands on the Israeli public health and welfare systems
The public psychological service, which suffers a chronic lack
The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo
Public college was founded in 1994. The college has approximately 4,600 undergraduate and graduate students in six schools: the School of Computer Science, the School of Information Systems, the School of Government and Society, the School of Management and Economics, the School of Science Nursing, and the School of Behavioral Sciences, which comprises the largest and most comprehensive program in Israel for M.A. studies in psychology.
The Mifrasim Institute for the Study and Teaching of Psychotherapy
The School of Behavioral Sciences specializes in capacity building of mental health professionals in a variety of therapeutic methods and around wide range of psychological conditions. It is the largest of its kind in Israel and the only such institute in Israel, which focuses on psychotherapy integration. The institute focuses on deepening the connections between theory, practice and research in the field of psychotherapy.
The institute is an incubator for a community of some 20,000 professionals in Israel and abroad, among them hundreds of practitioners with responsibility for the Israeli public health system. For example, directors of educational psychological services, welfare services, social and psychological services in hospitals and public health funds (HMOs).
The Mifrasim Institute welcomes practitioners into two multi-year flagship programs, two annual courses, 60 shorter courses and multiple short seminars. The conferences that Mifrasim Institute hosts include the leading Israeli professional conference in the field. The Mifrasim professional lecturers’ team is comprised of leading senior professionals in the various fields of psychotherapy.
The Proposed Solution:
The Mifrasim Institute is prepared to immediately launch a dedicated skill and capacity-building program for one thousand therapists in two parallel and complementary training sessions:
Primary Mental Health Intervention for Severe Traumatic States
Treatment of Complex Traumatic Grief.
An appropriate certificate will be granted to all participants who complete their studies.
Each program is comprised of 20-academic hours, and each cohort will include 20 professional participants. Efficient and professional, the Mifrasim Institute will spearhead the training process management and lead 25 cohorts of each of the two programs simultaneously and immediately, i.e. 50 training cycles for a total of 1,000 individuals. The training programs will take place remotely as well as in venue, in order to enable the best professional leadership of lecturers on one hand, and the attendance of as many professionals as possible on the other hand. The program will focus on practitioners in the geographical peripheries, for whom the distance from Jaffa may be challenging.
The target audience encompasses professionals in psychology, social work, psychiatry, and art therapy.
Special emphasis will be placed on participants who work in areas adjacent to Israeli borders or confrontation lines, to those treating the victims of the 7th of October events, to professionals in peripheries, and public servants who are responsible for providing the best care for coping with grief, trauma and bereavement. The public system has no financial resources, a situation which is aggravated due to the emergency, challenged access and more.
Maximal accessibility: due to the war, the training will be offered free of charge to the participants. Most cohorts will take place remotely.
Developing Partnerships :
Key organizations and professional teams have requested a designated Mifrasim Institute training to be held in their organization. They will take part in participant recruitment and knowledge sharing.
The Mifrasim Institute is in contact with the Otef-Lev mental-health response organization, a voluntary civil society initiative by the Hamal Ezrachi, Israeli civil assistance to the populations living adjacent to battle lines. This action was put together in response to the war and connects Israelis seeking mental health support with relevant professionals. We aim to make the Mifrasim training part of this initiative and make them available to the professional therapists who participate in this framework.
Impact and Outcomes :
Skill-building and the increased availability
Skill-building and the increased availability of a thousand mental health professionals from across the country to provide treatment for trauma, grief and loss in order to respond to the enormous needs that have been created, and are likely to increase, among circles of victims, their families and wider circles in the society. The participants will be able to adapt treatment models to individual patients, from an up-to-date and integrative perspective.
Empowerment and emotional support
For the professional responders themselves, who undergo and must cope with difficulties in the face of the terrible reality as well.
Creating a common professional language
and network that can operate during and after extreme emergencies.
Improving the effectiveness
distress-reduction interventions, increase social cohesion and functioning, acquiring tools and skills to prevent long-term disability.
The following table summarizes the main data:
Fundraising goal: 750,000 ILS for 1,000 professionals
Sharon Ziv Beiman, Ph.D., Head of "Mifrasim Institute for Research and Teaching of Psychotherapy” since its establishment in 2015. She is a clinical psychologist and supervisor and faculty member in the School of Behavioral Sciences at The Academic College of Tel Aviv Yaffo. She has rich clinical experience, expertise in teaching and developing training programs, continuing education courses and conferences. She is co-founder of "Ogen - a three-year program for integration-based psychotherapy" within the Mifrasim Institute. She is an active member the Israeli Research Group in Psychotherapy and in the Israeli Forum for Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis.
Tuli Flint, Ph.D., is a clinical social worker, research criminologist and a certified couples and family therapist. He is an expert in treating trauma and PTSD at various stages including Complex PTSD. He works with variety of mental health systems including the IDF. He develops and researches the field of spirituality-based treatment from trauma and PTSD. He has experience in crisis interventions, extreme trauma situations, iterative trauma treatment, post-trauma treatment.
Avital Gershfeld-Litvin, Ph.D., is an expert medical psychologist-and supervisor. She is Head of the medical psychology program at the School for Behavioral Sciences at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo and coordinator of the Loss and Grief Unit at the Mifrasim Institute. She works as a psychologist at Tel HaShomer Hospital. She is an expert in the field of grief, loss and bereavement.
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