How to cope mentally with Hamas terrorist attack news

Jami recommends 'staying connected' with one another, continuing to exercise and to maintaining other forms of self-care


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The Jewish community’s leading mental health charity is urging people “to continue everyday life as best as you possibly can” amid news of the terrorist attacks and the war in Israel.

Jami is advising people to “stay connected” with one another, continue to exercise and to maintain other forms of self-care in order to look after their mental health.

In a statement put out to its service users and supporters, Philippa Carr, the head of education and the lead of the Emergency Response Initiative Consortium (ERIC), said that people were likely to be feeling “deep anguish” due to events in Israel.

She said that fear of antisemitism could lead to people staying at home and, in effect, self-isolating.

Carr wrote: “We understand that these events have a profound impact on the community’s sense of safety and that we fear antisemitism as a result.

“We would urge you all to continue everyday life as best as you possibly can. Sometimes there is a temptation to self-isolate or stop doing what we usually do as we become more anxious due to world events.”

Carr stressed that it was important to keep in touch with family and friends “as this will help us feel more confident as individuals and as a community”.

She said that formal counselling was not recommended unless feelings of persistent sadness could not be addressed with self -care. For most people “a light-touch human response of reassurance is what we seek”.

Jami has been supporting a number of communal organisations, as well as advising Barnet schools on how they can support their students “at traumatic times”and specifically in connection to recent events.

Emma Gibbs, head of advice, access and advocacy at Jami, said that during one day this week, 67 per cent of callers had cited the terrorist attacks and the war as having “a detrimental impact” on their mental health.

Gibbs said that she expected this number to “rise rapidly”.

How to manage your anxiety in troubled times:

1. Keep a routine and structure to your day.

2. Reduce your exposure to social media and try to avoid graphic images.

3. Maintain a healthy diet.

4. Continue to exercise.

5. Find time for relaxation through breathing, meditation and mindfulness.

6. Prayer can be very beneficial to some people. You may wish to join or set up a Tehillim group.

7. Stay connected to family and friends. Isolation can make people feel more fragile.

8. Give back. Volunteering can be psychologically very beneficial.

9. Be aware of what is real and what are your fears. Try and follow the reality.

10. Maintain good sleep hygiene: turn off all electronics at least an hour before going to sleep. Do some simple stretches before bed and write down any worries so you don’t dwell on them during the night.

The guide was produced by Jami and the CST.

The full text can be found at

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