Defense Ministry implements One Soul reform for disabled IDF veterans

The Rehabilitation Division has begun to implement recommendations from the Committee for Preventing Violence and Suicide Among 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 Rehabilitation Division in the Defense Ministry began the process to implement recommendations it received from the Committee for Preventing Violence and Suicide Among Disabled IDF Veterans this week.

The recommendations were approved by Defense Ministry Director-General Amir Eshel, and he directed the division to implement them in the next few months.

Heading the committee is Prof. Yossi Levi Belz who is also the head of the research center for suicide and mental health in Rupin. The aim of the center is to understand in depth the situation that suicidal people are in and find ideal responses that include prevention, intervention and therapy.

The main points of the recommendations

  1. Implementing dedicated treatments to prevent suicide and self-harm as part of the treatments offered by the Rehabilitation Division.
  2. Establishing an intervention system for emergency crises in order to respond to situations considered at risk.
  3. Clear rules for how to deal with suicidal and violent incidents and the involvement after the fact.
  4. Organizational changes that will include training in terms of service improvement, increasing response on the hotline and reducing bureaucracy with digital tools to make identification easier.
  5. Better training for all the division's staff on how to handle crises.
A protest by disabled IDF veterans in Jerusalem, May 5, 2021 (credit: IDF DISABLED VETERANS ORGANIZATION)A protest by disabled IDF veterans in Jerusalem, May 5, 2021 (credit: IDF DISABLED VETERANS ORGANIZATION)

"Suicidal and violent tendencies are the extreme that express[es] a complex situation causes by many factors that add to it," said Belz. "These phenomena represent a complicated and complex problem, and of course, there is no solution or recommendation that can change things immediately.

"Implementing the recommendations in a systematic process with patience in the will for immediate results and familiarity with the obstacles will bring to a decrease in violent and suicidal incidents in the medium- and long-term. We believe that it is possible to make a significant change to the welfare of disabled IDF veterans.

"The committee worked professionally and thouroughly in order to develop the set of tools to deal with the complex problem of suicidal tendencies among disabled IDF veterans," said Head of the Rehabilitation Division Limor Lori. 

"In the last year, as part of the One Soul reform, we have implemented different responses for the veteran that are in emotional crises such as a stabilising home instead of hospitalization, establishing a "safe home" for those who suffer from PTSD and unlimited mental healthcare for the veterans and their families."

Head of the Rehabilitation Division Limor Lori