Zero Project 2018/19
Enosh (The Israeli Mental Health Association) is a non-profit organization and the largest provider of community mental health services in Israel. Enosh has developed training on trauma and a trauma-informed housing model to support women with psychosocial disabilities who live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of sexual abuse. The four shared apartments offer a safe environment with support from staff who have received training in sexual trauma and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). The trauma trainings are given to Enosh staff members and beneficiaries.
Research suggests more than half of all women with psychosocial disabilities have been sexually assaulted. Yet many mental health services cannot support women with experiences of sexual trauma and complex PTSD.
To deliver a specialist trauma-informed service, and to increase trauma awareness across the organization, Enosh developed the ‘SEEDS OF CHANGE’ training toolkit, with a variety of training packages for staff across all services.
Enosh has worked with the Association of Rape Crisis Centres in Israel to promote trauma-informed mental health services and adding this subject to the professional training of medical and psychiatric staff. A group of 25 leaders experienced long term in-depth training to lead sexual trauma activities. In the next step, after implementing special workshop for more than 300 staff members, thousands of Beneficiaries all across Enosh’s services have experienced various activities on sexuality and sexual assault in order to address the issue in the daily routine. Enosh plans to offer additional support and empowerment through peer support groups.
The training and awareness to the issue of sexual trauma helped promote the SEEDS OF WELLNESS supportive housing model for women with complex PTSD in Beer Sheba. It is a holistic mental health housing service, providing mental health support and addressing the trauma. Each of the apartments accommodates three or four women aged 18 to 35. A female social worker and rehabilitation counselor, both trained in sexual trauma and DBT, visit the apartment daily. The service offers personal meetings, group therapy, and peer support. Staff members work with the women to develop individualized support plans, and they provide the necessary tools and guidance to achieve the milestones within these plans.
As a result of the nationwide training program that Enosh provided to its staff, trauma informed services had expanded, addressing better recovery process to thousands of beneficiaries. An annual conference on sexual trauma and mental health for professional and the public has been established.
The Seeds of Wellness model impacted women in the apartments that have lower rates of re-hospitalization, fewer suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, strengthened their communications skills, and built trusting relationships with peers and professionals.
In 2019, Enosh will open apartments in two more regions, one of which will be for men who have experienced sexual trauma. All Enosh’s beneficiaries in the apartment will have sexual trauma programs to promote awareness and peer support that will hopefully lead to self-advocacy.
Potential partners are governmental agencies, and organizations interested in addressing the intersection of sexual assault in their services, mainly mental health services and other disability service providers, interested in addressing sexual trauma and disability connections.
The SEEDS OF CHANGE training programs could be replicated internationally, with local partners making changes to reflect cultural sensitivities.
To replicate the SEEDS OF WELLNESS housing model, Enosh looks for community mental health housing services. Professionals trained in sexual trauma, and management staff for supervision and oversight are needed. Enosh can also provide counselling sessions on implementing trauma informed services.