After October 7, All Israel has found itself in a condition of trauma. According to Dr. Eran Harary, a psychiatrist and a Senior Vice-President at Teva’s Global R&D, trauma can be described as a situation where you are exposed to an overwhelming event or series of events that your body and mind cannot comprehend or cope with, when people feel they are not safe, physically or mentally. However, after the Hamas attack, Israelis were quick to become proactive in responding to the events, with a sense of competence and strength which marked a significant difference compared to reactions to massacres experienced by the Jewish people throughout history.
“The fact that on October 7 the violence was broadcast live and that Israel is a small community, where everyone knows someone who was directly affected, means that a high number of people were exposed to secondary trauma,” Harary said, speaking during the Jerusalem Post’s Israel Summit.
“However, the positive difference compared to what the Jewish people experienced in the past is that we became proactive, immediately starting to fight back and volunteer,” he added. “For example, at Teva, our 1,400 employees in Israel began volunteering in agriculture and other sectors to help the affected communities.”
Teva’s ‘Treating the Soul’
In order to support the nation dealing with trauma, Teva has spearheaded a vast project called “Treating the soul,” Harary explained. The project includes three pillars.
“First of all, we are taking care of training certified mental healthcare professionals who can treat patients because there are not enough of them, considering that many mental health providers do not actually have specific expertise in post-traumatic conditions,” he said.
For this purpose, Teva is offering a special post-trauma tailored training program featuring the best experts in the field.
The second element of the company’s initiative focuses on resilience centers around the country – whether to strengthen those already existing or to build new ones where needed, like in Ofakim, one of the most affected communities in Israel’s south.
“Resilience is one of the most important elements in preventing post-traumatic disorders,” Harary noted. “These centers are equipped with expertise to help people develop tools to be resilient.”The final pillar of the project entails using advanced technologies and digital innovation – one of Teva’s areas of know-how – to help people deal with trauma.
“We are focusing on identifying technologies to allow professionals to treat people remotely, for example,” Harary said.
“We are also looking into tools such as biofeedback technology, thanks to which a patient can sit at home in front of a screen and train their brain to reduce anxiety symptoms.”
Asked how he feels regarding the future of Israel after October 7, the doctor described himself as “very optimistic.”
“We are a close community; we are being proactive and helping each other,” he said “and this is one of the best predictors of future recovery”.
“On the other hand, the needs and gaps are still significant, and we can always use additional resources and expertise to deal with something like what happened,” he added. “I call on our global partners, global communities and all those who wish to assist to help us build the infrastructure of the future.”
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