1 in 5 wounded soldiers suffers from psychological injury

Defense and Health ministries announce new joint committee to improve connectivity between the wounded and mental health officials to facilitate access to care; More than 6,400 wounded personnel have been treated by the rehabilitation division since October 7

Defense Ministry director-general, Major General (res.) Eyal Zamir, and Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov agreed on Tuesday to establish a joint committee to bolster the national response to mental health issues for IDF veterans and bereaved families.
Since the outbreak of the current Gaza war, there has been a significant increase in the need for mental health services among Israelis, especially in the IDF. More than 6,400 wounded IDF soldiers and security forces personnel have been treated by the Defense Ministry's Rehabilitation Department since October 7, with about 21% of them receiving treatment for psychological injuries.
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 הקמת המרכז לשירות בריאות הנפש
 הקמת המרכז לשירות בריאות הנפש
IDF soldiers receiving mental treatment in the field
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
The wounded veterans from the war who are dealing with mental health issues join more than 11,000 IDF veterans and servicemembers who are dealing with psychological injury; about 8,000 of them are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. Thousands of bereaved family members (parents, siblings, widows and orphans) are treated by the ministry's Family, Remembrance and Heritage Division.
For the upcoming months, the Defense Ministry anticipates that mental health needs will increase and is preparing for such a scenario with various treatment and prevention options. Before October 7, the public health system struggled with a shortage of mental health professionals, and the Health Ministry is implementing a national plan to expand services to insured individuals under the National Health Insurance Law.
To expand and improve the response and provide comprehensive care based on the civilian mental health system for IDF veterans, security personnel, their families and bereaved families, the chiefs of the health system and security establishment will recommend additional services within 90 days. Committee members will examine the delivery of services, their availability, and the interaction between the Defense Ministry and civilian health systems.
As part of improving care for those in need, the committee will consider establishing psychiatric hospitalization departments for IDF veterans and security personnel to create therapeutic groups of patients. To deal with the shortage of caregivers, the committee will consider integrating psychiatrists and exploring options for training caregivers in the security establishment.
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