Since 2010, there has been a 40 percent increase in the number of consultations that Israeli soldiers in compulsory service have held with army mental health officers, according to a report published by the Zionist paper Haaretz.
Zionist military sources (mental health service) termed the increase “drastic” and that it is wearing down the therapists and their ability to respond properly, the report added.
“The data show that some 44,000 soldiers in all the commands and branches of the Israeli army sought an appointment with their unit’s mental health officer in 2017, compared to 39,400 in 2013. The ‘state’ comptroller’s report of last year that examined the army’s mental health system stated that between January 2015 and April 2016 there were some 16,000 meetings between combat soldiers and mental health officers (many soldiers met more than once with the relevant professionals).”
“According to statistics released recently to the Movement for Freedom of Information, in 2017 some 4,500 conscripts dropped out in 2017 for mental health reasons, compared to 4,190 in 2016, and 4,125 in 2013, a gradual increase of 15 percent since 2013. The leading consumers of mental health services are soldiers from the Israeli ground forces, which is responsible for the army’s special units and the leading combat brigades.”
The report attributes the sharp rise in mental health consultations partly to the “harsh socioeconomic background of large sections of the population, coupled with a reduced motivation to serve, the desire to earn money and to use the time for the soldiers’ personal needs.”
“The drastic increase naturally intensifies burnout among the therapists, and this burnout is liable to reduce their ability to be understanding and increase the likelihood of an aggressive response” by the soldiers against the therapists.”