The Stress, Trauma and Resilience Studies Program
A World in Need of Mental Health First Responders
The Stress, Trauma and Resilience Studies Program at Tel-Hai College prepares future social workers to act as first responders in emergency situations. The program is based on research from the field, demonstrating that immediate and efficient mental health intervention at the site of disaster or emergency situations, significantly reduces the risk of post-traumatic symptoms, and greatly aids victims’ return to their regular level of daily functioning. Training begins in the first year of B.A. studies and includes both theoretical and practical studies of leading and innovative methods in the realm of PFA – Psychological First Aid, along with field experience gained in real life emergency situations. The curriculum combines theory and practice, with in-depth study of posttraumatic reactions and its preventions, as well as simulations of large-scale emergency situations, which are conducted in collaboration with the IDF, regional rescue teams, Magen David Adom (medical first aid), firefighters, and other first responders. Students train side-by-side with rescue professionals and have become an integral part of Israel’s national rescue teams, as well as serving beyond its borders. Program graduates have participated in relief efforts in Northern Israel during the Second Lebanon war, in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, during the tsunami in the Philippines, during the war in south Israel (Operative Edge 2014) and in local hospitals treating Syrian patients who have fled the bloody fighting in their homeland. The Stress and Trauma Study Track is not only an innovative academic program but also reflects the college’s deepest commitment to the resilience of community and society as a whole.
The Six C's Model The Six C’s model- developed by Dr. Moshe Farchi, director of the track, provides Psychological First Aid to the general public where valuable skills are gained in traumatic situations. Rather than being an observer, this model dramatically increases resiliency in the trained individual and takes control of what otherwise could be a very chaotic situation. It has been adopted by the Ministry of Health as a national model for provision of psychological first aid according to which security and rescue personnel will be trained. The Six C’s model was initially developed to assist combat forces in reducing combat reactions and was adopted by the IDF in 2013. Currently every combat soldier is trained on the model as part of basic training, enabling every soldier to provide psychological first aid to their peers. During Operations Pillar of Defense and Protective Edge, the model was applied broadly for civilians. Israel’s firefighting service has adopted the model as part of strengthening the firefighter's mental resilience. Training was also conducted for senior paramedics at Magen David Adom including a major disaster simulation exercise that required assistance to multiple victims of shock.
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