The IDF’s mental health system has had to quickly adapt to a new reality following October 7. Their ability to learn on the job and adjust their approach based on field insights and needs allowed them to provide relevant tools and high-quality treatment to military personnel.
Lt.-Col. Dr. Lucian Tatsa-Laur, the chief psychiatrist of the IDF, highlighted these efforts during an interview for a podcast.
“In the first week alone, we rapidly recruited approximately 800 officers, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and mental health professionals,” explained Tatsa-Laur.
“We deployed our personnel to treatment facilities specialized in handling combat stress reactions. These facilities, led by psychologist Yoram Ben-Yehuda, consist of a skilled and dedicated team aimed at providing relaxation and therapeutic intervention.”
Helping IDF soldiers with mental health care
Hundreds of combat soldiers were sent to the field to undergo mental preparation and refresh their protocols for mental first aid. After a focused clinical assessment and initial psychological response, those in need are directed to a rehabilitation facility commanded by Ben-Yehuda. This facility comprises a team of experts and is specifically designed to offer relaxation and specialized therapeutic interventions to assist in the recovery process.