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NATAL: Israel Trauma and Resiliency Center has remained flexible to adapt to meet the unprecedented demand for its services

The COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading quickly around the world and has had a significant impact on personal and professional lives. NATAL: Israel Trauma and Resiliency Center has remained flexible to adapt to meet the unprecedented demand while still delivering quality services.

NATAL’s Helpline

The COVID-19 pandemic has summoned the most primal human fears such as death, loss of loved ones, isolation, loneliness, loss of control, and fear of the unknown. Many people experience disruptions to daily life and uncertainty about the future. Naturally, in a crisis of this magnitude, anxiety and depression soar in the clinical and non-clinical populations alike. Moreover, psychiatric symptoms may worsen among the mentally diagnosed populations (Gordon, National Institute of Mental Health, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic evokes complex and unique challenges for helplines, some familiar and some new. Helplines are ultimately being used as frontline-help as they are the easiest and most accessible way to reach out for assistance during times of isolation.

NATAL’s Helpline Quick-Facts:

  • Created a new Helpline on March 11th, 2020 to support those suffering from anxiety and stress as a result of COVID-19
  • Currently, NATAL’s Helpline is looking for improved methods to answer calls from home
  • 50% more volunteers were trained and recruited
  • New intervention trainings, relating to the crisis, were provided remotely to new and existing helpline workers
  • The new helpline has received thousands of calls
    • 60% of callers are ages 60+
    • 50% of callers are female, 50% of callers are male

NATAL’s Clinical Unit & NATAL’s Community Resilience Unit

NATAL’s Clinical Unit and Resiliency Outreach Unit have been working tirelessly to provide live video webinars, video roundtables, and written content for the public.

These initiatives are in addition to the ongoing support that NATAL’s therapist have continued to provide to the preexisting 520 patients remotely.

NATAL’s Clinical Unit Quick-Facts:

  • 520 patients treated weekly
  • 132 therapist working remotely
  • Treatment is carried out online or via phone call
  • Some patients are experiencing worse symptoms and receiving more frequent treatment due to the trauma COVID-19 has caused or triggered.

NATAL’s Community Resilience Unit and Clinical Unit have been preparing content, live video webinars, and video lectures to support and guide the public with tools and coping mechanisms to respond to the current Coronavirus situation. These resources focus on tips and guides on how to remain calm, how to cope with anxiety and stress related to the pandemic, best practices and “know how” for those aiding populations affected by COVID-19, and more. Webinars are led by members of NATAL’s Community Resilience Team and NATAL’s Clinical Unit who are experts in the field of emergency response, resilience, trauma, and dealing with stress.

NATAL also shares knowledge and tips with our friends abroad. NATAL addressed helpline volunteers aiding those suffering from anxiety and stress due to the Coronavirus in Chicago, Illinois to share new strategies in dealing with this situation. NATAL also guided a variety of victim support professionals from Canada, United States of America, Europe, and Australia on how to support victims who struggle with past traumas, during this uncertain and fearful time. Moreover, NATAL is constantly hosting roundtable webinars with various organizations to share knowledge and hear from peers regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

NATAL Has Given Webinars and Roundtables To:

  • Parents and Educators
  • Social Workers and psychologists
  • EMS, Firefighters, and First Responders
  • Helpline Professionals and Staff Members
  • Victim Support Services
  • IDF Casualty Notification Officers
  • Young Leaders in the Netherlands
  • Jewish Federations and JCC’s across the US
  • US Rabbinic Assembly and Rabbinic Groups
  • Jewish Agency throughout the US, Israel, Europe, South America, and South Africa

Multidisciplinary Center for Trauma Studies

NATAL’s Multidisciplinary Center for Trauma Studies has continued to provide all courses via online video lectures throughout the time of the pandemic.

  • Classes have been provided for preexisting students, and classes have been created for new students to address the current needs with innovative interventions

Public Advocacy

NATAL has continued to engage those both in Israel and abroad by sharing information and resources to populations alike.

NATAL’s Public Advocacy Quick-Facts:

  • NATAL has developed a special website dedicated to COVID-19
  • Articles and interviews continue to be published across media platforms
  • NATAL’s Helpline has been advertised on 3 major news networks


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