IAJF Sponsors A Resilience Training Program for Prevention of
IDF Combat-Related Post Traumatic Disorder Syndrome (PTSD Program)
It is estimated that 6-8 percent of IDF infantry soldiers develop sever PTSD symptoms during their
first deployment cycle. is high prevalence of debilitating symptoms, including extreme hyperarousal
and edginess, flashbacks, intrusive re-experiencing of the trauma, acute avoidance of potential trauma
remainders and depression even during relatively calm periods, calls for science-informed prevention and
resilience promoting programs to be implemented before combat deployment.
Over the past five years, Tel Aviv University's School of Psychological Sciences (TAU) and the Mount
Sinai School of Medicine (MT. SINAI) have closely collaborated to characterize the cognitive mechanism
putting soldiers at-risk for combat-related PTSD. TAU and MT. SINAI developed a computerized
protocol designed to normalize deviant thought processes in soldier populations, and now, in collaboration
with the IDF's Department of Mental Health, they are ready to test the efficacy of this computerized
resilience training program in a large sample of IDF infantry soldiers.
The developed protocol entails 4-8 brief sessions of computerized training to be delivered in barracks
as part of the IDF's basic training course curriculum. This computerized resilience training is expected
to afford normalization of deviant thought process arising before deployment and thereby increasing
mental resilience in combat and reducing the incidents of PTSD. TAU and MT. SINAI intend to test
the efficacy of the training program in a double-blind randomized controlled trial of 600 IDF infantry
soldiers starting in November 2012. These soldiers will be followed-up into deployment 6 months after
the program in order to evaluate its outcomes.
With IAJF's valuable partnership, the program will launch the first year initial phase, recruiting and
training the first 300 IDF infantry soldiers. Only because of the invaluable assistance of the IAJF, this very
important project can be launched. The impact of this project could reach beyond the IDF to US troops
deploying around the globe.