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August 9, 2016 6:09 pm

Despite Decline in Jerusalem Stabbing Attacks, City Hall Launches Program to Train Social Workers to Treat Victims of Terrorism Trauma

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Paramedics at the scene of a Palestinian terrorist attack. Photo: Hatzalah.

Paramedics at the scene of a Palestinian terrorist attack. Photo: Hatzalah.

Despite the decline in Palestinian stabbing attacks in the Israeli capital, City Hall has decided that now is a good time to launch a new program to train social workers to treat trauma sufferers, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the goal of the project is “to provide swifter and more effective treatment for residents of the city who experience traumatic events, such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters and personal tragedies.”

In a document describing the impetus behind the project, Jerusalem Municipality Social Services Department deputy director Sharon Benjamin explained that treating anxiety requires knowledge and professional skill — and since it is the city’s social workers who are called upon to aid victims reduce stress, they need to be given proper guidance.

The project will train them to treat what is termed in professional jargon “Acute Stress Reaction.” This is a condition whose symptoms include shock, difficulty responding to one’s environment — even to the point of disconnecting from it — or “excessive aimless activity.” Occasionally the phenomenon is accompanied by tremors, an elevated heart rate, heavy breathing and perspiration.

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