Tel Aviv University announces opening of dedicated PTSD clinic

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Tel Aviv University announces opening of dedicated PTSD clinic

The university says the clinic expects to treat “large numbers of civilians and reserve soldiers suffering as a result of the war

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Tel Aviv The Tel Aviv University Sackler Faculty of Medicine.
Tel Aviv The Tel Aviv University Sackler Faculty of Medicine.

Tel Aviv University has announced the opening of a dedicated national clinic, which expects to treat mounting cases of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome) as a result of the ongoing war.

Professor Yair Bar-Haim, head of the university’s existing National Centre for Traumatic Stress and Resilience, said: “Cautious estimates speak of 30,000 new cases of PTSD and related pathologies resulting from the war. We have harnessed TAU’s academic and therapeutic resources to provide an immediate response to as many sufferers as possible”.

The university says that the clinic expects to treat “large numbers of civilians and reserve soldiers suffering from PTSD as a result of the war or other causes”. Therapy will be offered at a nominal fee to patients who do not have the backing of the Ministry of Defence or the National Insurance Institute.

Plans were in place to open a centre with a treatment clinic and cutting-edge laboratories more than a year ago, with the expectation of launching in 2025. But the war has brought everything forward: “TAU decided to make the necessary adaptations and open the clinic immediately in specially allocated temporary premises. The goal is to enable an immediate therapeutic response to as many patients as possible, thereby bolstering Israel’s depleted mental health system which, even before the war, was unable to meet the population’s real needs”.

The clinic will be led by Dr Ofir Levi, formerly commander of the IDF’s Unit for PTSD, who currently teaches at TAU’’s Bob Shapell School of Social Work.

TAU president Prof. Ariel Porat said: “Unfortunately, PTSD has become a nationwide affliction in Israel, and we as a university are aware of the needs of Israeli society, especially now, at one of the most difficult times we have known as a country and as a people. We intend to bring relief and new hope to thousands of soldiers and civilians emotionally impacted by the massacre and the war”.

Prof. Yair Bar-Haim, head of the centre, said: “Right after October 7, when information about the extent of the trauma began to accumulate, we realised there would be large numbers of PTSD sufferers who would require long-term professional treatment. Israel’s best PTSD therapists responded to our call and joined the clinic’s permanent staff. The clinic is expected to be the leading facility of its kind in Israel”.

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