Dr. Fortunato Benarroch, Director of the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress at the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Herman Dana Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, recently traveled to Mexico City to teach and work with colleagues who deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Dr. Benarroch spent two days in Mexico City working with Mexico’s National Commission against Kidnapping (CONASE), which coordinates the actions of both the federal and state governments aimed at combatting the crime of kidnapping--efficiently, quickly, and directly. He then spent three days lecturing at the Children’s Hospital of the Siglo XXI National Medical Center, which is administered by the Mexican Institute of Social Security. As a specialist in PTSD of children and adolescents, Dr. Benarroch trained the top-level Mexican psychologists and psychiatrists in the treatment of pediatric and adolescent victims of traumatic events.
While Dr. Benarroch focused on teaching models for psychological intervention in emergency situations and first-aid techniques to implement following traumatic events, he also addressed the issue of secondary trauma (helping the helpers, who experience such problems as professional burnout).
The participants from both CONASE and the Children’s Hospital reported that these workshops were very helpful in enabling them to structure proper interventions following traumatic events, rather than improvise what they surmise would be the correct response.
During his visit to Mexico, Dr. Benarroch was hosted by members of the Jewish community. Using a webinar format, Dr. Benarroch gave a lecture to the psychologists of the Jewish Network in Mexico City, entitled “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What Can Be Hidden Behind It.”
Hadassah health professionals, from physicians to nurses to medical clowns, are often asked to provide specialized training all over the world. This was not the first educational outreach to Mexican colleagues by Hadassah physicians. In October 2017, Director of Hadassah’s Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center Prof. Esti Galili traveled to Mexico in the wake of the earthquake that hit Mexico City. Prof. Galili spent 10 days working with the Mexican Health Ministry, the National Institute of Psychiatry, the Children’s Hospital, various schools and parent-teacher associations, as well as Cadena, the Jewish network that responds to mass-casualty events.