NATAL Mobilizes Mental-Health Support in Wake of Ukraine Crisis

NATAL: Israeli Trauma and Resiliency Center is a Tel Aviv-based nonprofit that addresses war- and terror-related trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder and builds resilience in civil society. It was the first center in Israel to create standardized protocols to cope with trauma and build resilience — and its work extends beyond the borders of the Jewish State. Our Federation is committed to supporting NATAL’s work, particularly as it addresses the mental-health crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. Below is a summary of NATAL’s efforts to provide mental-health support to those in need in Israel, Ukraine, and around the world. 

For people living through the crisis in Ukraine, the war’s impact is pervasive, long-lasting, and often invisible. Mental-health support is critical for those affected, both during the thick of the crisis and in the weeks, months, and years that follow. In the early days of the Russian invasion, NATAL transitioned to emergency mode, putting its extensive treatment expertise to work supporting affected families.  

NATAL’s staff are fielding helpline calls from Russian and Ukrainian immigrants and refugees in Israel who are experiencing debilitating fear and anxiety. In addition, NATAL is training the staff of other helplines in trauma modalities and providing therapeutic materials to parents and counselors in their native languages. The organization also hosts weekly bilingual webinars for mental-health professionals — to date, more than 2,500 professionals have participated.  

Internationally, NATAL is collaborating with a number of partners to bolster mental-health resources for impacted Ukrainians worldwide. For example, with NATAL’s help, the international human-rights organization La Strada provided its staff with the resilience training needed to operate a helpline for adults and children inside Ukraine — and La Strada is now extending this support to Ukrainian refugees in neighboring countries.                                                 

NATAL also works closely with several Ukraine-based nonprofits. It has partnered with the Organization for Health Psychology to offer online Ukrainian language training to mental-health professionals on the ground, and it is offering expert guidance and therapeutic materials to Child Helpline International, to help Ukrainian parents reduce stress and fear in their children. As long as the crisis continues, NATAL will continue to provide services, assisting those most in need and recognizing that things change quickly over time. 

The support of Federation and its donors makes NATAL's life-saving emergency work possible. Our local Federation has supported NATAL’s “Challenge in Nature” Program, an outdoor exploratory program for people suffering with PTSD that is offered in collaboration with Ha’emek Hospital and Hartford’s sister city of Afula in Israel. 

To stay up-to-date on NATAL’s efforts in Israel, Ukraine, and around the globe, click here or email Jaime Seltzer, American Friends of NATAL Executive Director.

For information about supporting NATAL, click here.