Helpline

The NATAL Helpline

“After the terror attack I felt extremely confused, shocked, scared and helpless. Calling the Helpline gave me support. You explained to me why I was reacting the way I was and understood how I felt. Because of you I am on the path to healing.” – Helpline Caller

The only one of its kind in Israel, NATAL’s toll-free Helpline provides over the phone crisis intervention, psychological and emotional support to thousands of Israelis who suffer from trauma symptoms due to terror and war. Manned by highly trained volunteers, the Helpline serves as the gateway into NATAL, referring callers to NATAL’s Clinical Unit or other professionals organizations as needed.

The Helpline is available to adults and children of all ages, in different languages, for an unlimited period of time, as needed. Trained volunteers are assigned to callers with whom they continue to speak on a weekly basis for 20 minutes at an agreed upon time and day. Callers who require more comprehensive treatment are referred to NATAL’s Clinical Unit. There is no restriction on how long a person may continue to receive support via the Helpline. Volunteers undergo an intense 6-month trauma training and receive constant supervision and guidance from a senior member of NATAL’s professional team.

NATAL’s Helpline has received international recognition and is being modeled in the U.S.

A Year in Numbers

Over 5,000 incoming calls & 7,500 outgoing therapeutic calls
Over 400 individuals supported by the Helpline on an ongoing basis
709 new children received short + long term intervention
200 veterans under the age of 35 called the Helpline
150 individuals referred to the Clinical Unit

Helpine in Action

Patient Stories

Adam*

At age 25, Adam, an IDF combat veteran, was left with lasting psychological wounds  following his service. As a reservist, he felt great anxiety and knew that if he was called again to fight, he would not succeed in doing so.   Adam called NATAL.

Adam began weekly contact with a volunteer, where he was able to speak of his harrowing military experience, his fears, and the ethos of “heroism” which made him feel the need to hide his feelings. Instead of shame, he soon understood and felt the courage he had to expose himself to his family and to look at his fear head on.

Instead of living with the crippling anxiety and fear which trauma cause in his daily life, with the help of NATAL, Adam is learning to simply live again. Adam continues calling NATAL.

Keren*

Keren’s son, now 15 years old, was a young boy during when missiles fell on his hometown in the south of the country. Following those tense days, Keren’s son refused to leave the “secure room” in their home. He also began started stammering and then stopped communicating almost all together. His condition didn’t improve in the weeks and months following, and he still experiences great difficulty making social connection and suffers from anxiety Keren searched for guidance on how to best help her son.

Keren called the Helpline.

For over a year, Keren spoke with a Helpline volunteer. Together, they worked on Keren’s ability to rely on her son, to allow him a safe place for new experiences, to give him more independence and responsibility and to not automatically do things for him. Keren describes small, but significant changes in her son’s condition.

Together with the psychologist support to her son, and the support from the Helpline, Keren’s son is learning to thrive amongst adversity. He has recently been able to go out and join the school fieldtrip and even invite friends over to his home.

*Names have been changed to conceal privacy of patients.