Trauma, resilience, and being Israeli

Avi Bleich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Avi Bleich was born in Israel in 1949. In the past, he served in and commanded the Mental Health Services in the Israel Defense Forces. He is currently director of Israel’s Lev-Hasharon Medical Center for Mental Health, affiliated with Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, where he is Professor of Psychiatry. He is also chair of the National Council for Mental Health, and chairperson of the Professional Steering Committee of the Israel Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War (NATAL). In his discussion of traumatic stress resilience, he draws upon subjective experiences as an Israeli and as a psychiatrist, clinician, therapist, teacher, and researcher. Among his Trauma Resilience Truisms, he underscores the importance of a leader in bolstering resilience, especially when the leader has the capacity to instill hope with a promising vision. Bleich emphasizes the importance of interpersonal factors on the collective level, such as sense of belonging, cohesion, solidarity, and mutual commitment. While highlighting the importance of individual empowerment in order to increase resilience as a society, Bleich notes that the authorities must strengthen vulnerable groups and communities by providing adequate resources to improve their capacity to cope and to continue to thrive. This is a subjective narrative, drawn from Bleich’s personal and professional experiences, through which he has identified sources of resilience and strength as they relate to interpersonal resources. The story of his personal and professional experiences, which reflect those of his contemporaries and colleagues, contributes to the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-26
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Combat stress casualties
  • Resilience
  • Terror
  • Traumatic stress


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