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Military Social Work in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)

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Part of the Military and Veterans Studies book series (MVETSTUD)

Abstract

The complex security reality in the State of Israel dictates the obligation to enlist in the military, for every citizen or permanent resident who has reached the age of 18. Military service is particularly demanding and may involve stressful situations. Some soldiers experience a stressful period and traumatic events might occur. This chapter focuses on Military Social Work (MilSW) in Israel, most of which is carried out by the Israel Defense Force [IDF] Mental Health Array that provides mental health care to those suffering from distress resulting from military service. The uniqueness and challenges facing those serving in the IDF will be detailed. Following, an overview of the IDF’s mental health system, its unique characteristics, and the development of the mental health officer role from the first (and only) officer recruited in 1962 to nearly 250 mental health officers in the present day, will be presented. The training program for mental health officers will also be detailed, including trainee deployment to various units, interventions, and special projects. Finally, other military authorities that deal with the welfare of the soldier and his family will be mentioned.

Keywords

  • Mental health officer (MHO)
  • Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
  • IDF mental health array
  • Military social work
  • Military service

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Correspondence to Limor Zaks Zitronblat .

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Zitronblat, L.Z. (2023). Military Social Work in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). In: Forgey, M.A., Green-Hurdle, K. (eds) Military Social Work Around the Globe . Military and Veterans Studies. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-14482-0_7

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