Mental health crisis houses to be built for disabled IDF veterans

This is the latest in a string of steps taken by the Defense Ministry to improve its care of disabled IDF veterans.

 Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, Israeli soldiers and Israeli veterans and disabled IDF soldiers seen during a march honoring IDF wounded and disabled IDF, in Tel Aviv, November 17, 2021 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, Israeli soldiers and Israeli veterans and disabled IDF soldiers seen during a march honoring IDF wounded and disabled IDF, in Tel Aviv, November 17, 2021
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

The Defense Ministry's Rehabilitation Division announced on Sunday it will construct crisis houses for disabled IDF veterans, in what is the next step in the implementation of its "One Soul" reform for vets suffering from mental illnesses due to their service.

The crisis houses, to be built at the Sheba Medical Center complex, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and be designed to provide disabled vets experiencing severe mental breakdowns with a safe space and emergency medical and mental care, should they need it.

The vets will be allowed to stay in the houses for up to 72 hours. During their stay, they will be evaluated and treated by mental health professionals and, if needed, be hospitalized at Sheba Medical Center.

The idea for crisis houses arose after a series of discussions with representatives from the Disabled IDF Veterans Association, who expressed the veterans' urgent need for an additional avenue for receiving psychiatric care aside from hospitalization.

The IDF disabled veterans organization set up a protest tent outside of the Knesset Monday which will be manned 24/7 after the government did not approve a plan for reform in the treatment of IDF veterans Monday. (credit: COURTESY OF IDF DISABLED VETERANS ASSOCIATION)The IDF disabled veterans organization set up a protest tent outside of the Knesset Monday which will be manned 24/7 after the government did not approve a plan for reform in the treatment of IDF veterans Monday. (credit: COURTESY OF IDF DISABLED VETERANS ASSOCIATION)

"The crisis houses are yet another part of our wide set of tools aimed at saving lives, improving the quality of life and better the rehabilitation process for veterans suffering from PTSD," Defense Minister Benny Gantz said. 

"It is our moral and ethical duty to care for the disabled veterans who sacrificed their bodies and souls."

This is the latest in a string of steps taken by the Defense Ministry to improve its care of disabled IDF veterans, an issue that became apparent following the self-immolation of veteran Itzik Saidian in April 2021.

Saidian, who remained hospitalized in critical condition ever since the incident, woke up for the first time in September. Last month, Saidian was recorded speaking for the first time since the incident, thanking his doctors in honor of Doctors Appreciation Day.