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Fighting PTSD, Israel unveils mental health hub for returning Gaza soldiers

Middle East | February 29, 2024 7:54:49 AM IST
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Tel Aviv [Israel], February 29 (ANI/TPS): In a bid to fight post-traumatic stress disorder among soldiers returning from Gaza, the Israel Defence Forces is opening a new centre for mental health services on Thursday.

PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. People with PTSD may avoid situations or things that remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have negative changes in beliefs and feelings. PTSD can significantly impact daily life and may require treatment such as therapy and medication.

"From the first moment of the war, mental health was present in the torture from the field to the home front. In light of the great importance of the subject, we have chosen it as one of the main axes to focus on these days - and we are now working to expand the existing answer. The opening of the center will be real news for IDF servicemen," said Brig Gen Elon Glassberg, head of the IDF's Medical Corps.

According to figures released by the IDF, around 30,000 soldiers have undergone group discussions with army mental health experts while 3,450 soldiers have called mental health hotlines.

The military added that it has also called up 270 reservist mental health experts.

At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas's attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the remaining 134 hostages, Israel recently declared 31 of them dead. (ANI/TPS)