Israel has added another country to the long list of recipients of its rescue and medical aid in disaster areas around the world. In addition to countries such as Japan, Haiti and Nepal, the United States will now benefit from Israeli emergency expertise, as a team of mental-health professionals are set to arrive in Houston on Thursday morning to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.
In response to a request for psychological and trauma professionals, the Israel Rescue Coalition the IRC enlisted the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit of United Hatzalah in Yerushalayim, which is experienced in providing “psychological first-aid,” The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.
“People need help on the ground. They need to be able to wrap their minds around what was lost and they need assistance figuring out how to cope and where to go from here,” said Dov Maisel, Director of International Operations for the IRC and Vice President of United Hatzalah. “That is the biggest challenge currently facing all Houston residents who have suffered during Hurricane Harvey.”
Miriam Ballin, the director of the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit, who is from Houston, will lead the mission.
“I’m happy to be given the opportunity to head back to my hometown and help during this time of crisis. Our team provides the IRC with a new capability developed in Israel that no one else in the world is currently doing,” Ballin said.
“We are going tonight to help all of the people of Houston, no matter what community you belong to or what your background is, from one ‘lone star state’ to another, we will be there for you,” she said.