Hadassah has sent one of the world’s top experts on adolescent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Syndrome (PTSD) to Mexico City. Dr. Esti Galili-Weisstub, Head of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem is also the founder and director of Hadassah’s Jerusalem Crisis Intervention Center. Dr. Galili-Weisstub is in Mexico City for an on-site evaluation and to train medical personnel to deal with the psychological effects on children and adolescents from the September 19th earthquake.
A major challenge of the earthquake’s aftermath has been to deal with the psychological effects and the trauma experienced by adolescents who have lost their homes, their loved ones and their sense of security and well-being. One of the earthquake’s most heart-rending tragedies was the collapse of a primary school in Mexico City, where five adults and 20 children died, while the rest of the students survived with different levels of physical injuries.
Dr. Galili-Weisstub will share her highly-developed methodologies in dealing with the consequences of traumatic events in children and adolescents, including early diagnosis, screening, immediate psychological care, and long-term follow-up to the team of psychologist that are treating the earthquake victims at various medical institutions. In addition, Dr. Galili-Weisstub will be addressing school teachers and counselors from Jewish and non-Jewish schools at the Hebraica University of Mexico.
Dr. Galili-Weisstub will also be meeting with Mexico Secretary of Health, Dr. Armando Ahued to develop a long-term collaboration between Hadassah and Mexico City and will be working with the National Institute of Psychiatry and the UNAM, National University of Mexico where both professionals and volunteers are counseling children and their families.
Dr. Galili-Weisstub’s visit to Mexico was initiated by Hadassah International and the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) in Israel and is a joint venture with the Central Committee of Jewish Organizations in Mexico and Cadena, the rescue and relief arm of the Jewish Community in Mexico. Hadassah International and The Central Committee of Jewish Organizations in Mexico have been very active in assisting Mexican rescue organizations who have been searching for survivors and dealing with their emergency needs in the aftermath.