Emotional support center opens at Soroka hospital

Beersheba and Jerusalem now operate facilities.

By
October 20, 2015 01:56
2 minute read.
Soroka

Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. (photo credit: PANET.CO.IL)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Less than 24 hours after Sunday’s terrorist attack at Beersheba’s Central Bus Station, the Health Ministry opened a temporary center to provide emotional support at the city’s Soroka-University Medical Center. The free center joins a similar one at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, which has suffered its share of stabbings and other Palestinian violence.

Both are open weekdays to people of all ages from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and are staffed by psychologists and clinical social workers trained to help individuals suffering from anxiety due to the current situation. Both are located adjacent to the hospitals’ emergency rooms.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The number of the new Soroka center is 08-6403798.

There is no need for a medical referral and no waiting on line. Mental health professionals meet with patients for 15, 30, or 60 minutes, as needed.

Bella Ben-Gershon is a ministry social worker and psychotherapist with expertise in treating psychological trauma who is responsible for both centers. She told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the two centers will “remain open until we have no more patients who need it.”

About 90 percent of those exposed to terrorism and other trauma recover on their own within 24 hours of a traumatic event thanks to help from family and friends, but 10% suffer from anxiety that disrupts their normal functioning, she said.

While most Israelis have not been directly connected to the dozens of terrorist attacks in this round of violence, all of them are worried. “This is, in fact, good, because this makes them more alert to danger. Fortunately, Israelis recover quickly; like mothers after delivering their babies, they forget the pain of childbirth.”



In addition to the ministry center, there are various other services available, such as phone-in help run by the four health funds for their members seven days a week, 24 hours a day. A variety of voluntary organizations also provide free services to alleviate trauma and fear.

During the first two hours after the Soroka center was open, 25 people already came in for counseling, said Ben-Gershon.

The ministry and Tel-Hai College have also prepared a four-minute video film in Hebrew offering simple ways for any resident to help others emotionally during the current period. It will appear from Tuesday on its site at www.health.gov.il, TV stations and other Internet sites.

“The current terrorism can strike anywhere, but the first two intifadas,” said Ben-Gershon, “were horrendous, with bus bombings that killed hundreds. Horrible as this wave is, one has to put it into proportion.”

She urged the public not to suspect all Arabs they meet of being violent.

“We have many Arab colleagues in our mental health facilities, and they help everybody. There is a difference between alertness and paranoia.”

Related Content

Zavitan River
August 15, 2018
Five hospitalized as fear of Leptospirosis outbreak grows

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF