Increasing Referrals to Herzog Hospital’s
Metiv Crisis Center Since the Last Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem
February 25, 2004, Jerusalem -- The parents started coming into METIV – Herzog Hospital’s Walk-In Crisis Center with their children, just a few hours after the terrorist attack on bus #14 in Jerusalem on that Sunday morning. They came to Israel’s only Walk-In Crisis Center offering free trauma counseling.
As soon as word of the attack reached them, the METIV team mobilized their extensive emergency plan to deal with the immediate psychological needs of the many victims of the attack: those actually injured, their families, the witnesses and others who were affected.
Shortly after the attack, numerous calls were made to METIV followed by a steady stream of people seeking psychological help to cope with yet another horrifying attack, which killed 8 and wounded over 60.
The attack was carried out at 8:20AM on a school day, when many high school students were still traveling the buses heading for school. Hence, parents were anxiously checking to find out the whereabouts of their children by calling their cell phones or their schools. The familiar scene was repeated with so many people trying to contact their loved ones to find out if they were safe, or, worse.
This compounds the shock and trauma of the attack and triggers numerous psychological reactions for people who weren’t even at the scene of the attack.
Throughout the day of the attack, and still continuing for days after, people have been coming to the Center to talk to a counselor to help them cope with how the terrorist attack psychologically impacted them. In addition to individuals who were injured in the attack, or their families, who are seeking METIV’s professional counseling, there are people who were in the area of the attack, or for whom this attack triggered their experience from a previous terrorist attack that they had been involved with. In addition, a system is already in place where other hospital emergency wards and social services departments of the Jerusalem Municipality are referring people to METIV who require psychological counseling for their trauma.
Herzog’s Psychotrauma staff was also approached by the company which provides security guards for the buses, to counsel some of the guards who needed someone to talk to about their own personal fears.
It was only three weeks earlier that the previous bus bomb attack was carried out in Jerusalem. The METIV team is still treating many of those who suffered from that attack. Hundreds of people have turned to the Trauma Center and METIV who are suffering from this crisis and their inability to function normally as a result of that attack.
Apart from treating individuals, METIV functions as a professional and community center for those who rescue, save and care for the victims. After each attack, METIV is inundated with calls from professionals in the field of mental health as well as from individuals seeking advice and guidance.
The Temmy and Albert Latner Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma of Herzog Hospital coordinates METIV. This free Walk-In Crisis Center is open to the public Sunday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 9:00 PM, and until 1:00 PM on Friday. Besides helping after terrorist attacks, METIV staff counsels individuals to deal with all life cycle problems such as unemployment, financial stress caused by Israel’s economic downturn, and domestic problems.
METIV relies almost exclusively on donations to provide its free services. UJA Federation of New York, the Iranian American Federation of New York, Sinai Temple and the Magbit Foundation in Los Angeles, in collaboration with the LA Jewish Federation are major supporters of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma and Metiv.
For more information on METIV and Herzog Hospital or to make a contribution please call the American Friends of Herzog Hospital at 212-683-3702 or go to www.HerzogHospital.org or www.TraumaWeb.org.
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