International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience
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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and vicarious trauma (VT) symptoms among mental health professionals (MHPs) working in communities exposed to high levels of trauma related to rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip
International Conference on Fostering Human Resilience
The current study investigates posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and vicarious trauma (VT) symptoms among mental
health professionals (MHPs) working in communities exposed to high levels of trauma related to rocket attacks from
the Gaza Strip. The study assessed direct and vicarious traumatic exposure. The study also explored the relationship between
resilience and posttraumatic growth (PTG) with MHPs? PTSD and VT symptoms. Results indicate that MHPs working in the
more severely affected community of Sderot report higher objective, subjective and professional exposure as well as higher
levels of PTSD and VT symptoms, compared to MHPs working in some of the other Gaza-bordering communities. Resilience
had no relations with PTSD and VT in the less severely affected community of Ashdod. However, resilience had protective
relations with PTSD and less in VT, in the more severely affected community of Sderot. The relation between resilience and
PTG was positive in MHPs of the more severely affected community of Sderot, while negative in MHPs of the les severely
affected community of Ashdod. The findings indicate that MHPs exposed to concurrent primary and vicarious trauma are
at increased risk for psychological distress. However, resilience became a protective factor only in the more severely affected
communities. Conclusions were drawn about interventions that aim to increase professional support; that may buffer the
effects of concurrent primary and vicarious trauma exposure.
Michal Finklestein is a member of the Research Ethics Committee in Zefat Academic College.Lecturer, Tenure track, The Independent Department of Social Work,
Zefat Academic College.Head of the Field Studies Unit, Zefat Academic College affiliated to Bar Ilan University, School of Social Work.
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