(L-R) Yossi Matetyahu, Yitshak Kreiss, Morey Levovitz, and Itamar Graff. Photo Credit: Ori Shemesh, courtesy of FIDF.

Sheba Medical Center Launches National Mental Health Center for IDF Veterans Funded by FIDF

On June 5, the Sheba Medical Center launched the Returning to Life National Center for Mental Trauma, in collaboration with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Disabled Veterans Organization, with the support of Israel’s Ministry of Defense and thanks to an unprecedented donation from the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF).

Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, Director General of Sheba Medical Center; Morey Levovitz, Chairman of the FIDF; and Itamar Graff, Head of the Ministry of Defense’s Planning Department, attended the ceremony in Ramat Gan.

The National Center for Mental Trauma will operate nationwide from Sheba to Be’er Sheba, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Nahariya. It will serve as a professional therapeutic home for all security forces and their families who need mental health help and assistance following the events of October 7th and the Iron Swords War. The center will offer a variety of treatments by mental health trauma experts, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, who are being trained at Sheba Medical Center.

“As the war continued, we at FIDF recognized there is a new and immediate need: a rehabilitation center to care for soldiers who fought and were injured, both physically and mentally,” Levovitz said. “We did not hesitate for a moment and found great partners in Sheba, which has an existing rehabilitation center that has now been significantly expanded and adapted to meet the growing demands of the war. This is our way of saying thank you to all the soldiers who were injured while protecting us, the homeland, and the Jewish people.”

“It’s not just about treating organic injuries or just saving lives. We are looking for a tourniquet for the soul, ensuring that the recovering soldiers will flourish in their lives, and we needed someone to push us in that direction,” said Professor Kreiss. “FIDF, early on in the war told us, don’t worry we will take the journey with you, move forward. You have made us change, to think ahead about treating PTSD. Sometimes it takes a push from a member of the ‘mishpacha’ to bring us all together.”

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