Providing Healing and Hope for Israel's Music Festival Survivors

Compassionate support and specialized care in the aftermath of trauma.

(Photo courtesy @ SafeHeart)

In the aftermath of a brutal Hamas terror attack during a peaceful music rave in Southern Israel near the Gaza border on October 7th, dedicated mental health professionals, including seasoned psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers and psychotherapists, who specialize in working with severe trauma and the unique challenges of providing assistance to the rave community, are doing their best to help the people whose lives were forever altered. 

A Compassionate Response to Trauma
SafeHeart is an emergency mental health response organization that was founded immediately following the attack and is dedicated to providing professional support tailored to the unique needs of survivors.

“Imagine that after an intense experience of three consecutive days of dancing and togetherness, at the climax of a peaceful music festival at sunrise, a moment of elation and celebration the most horrific and barbaric acts occurred. The people who were there found themselves thrust into a spiritual crisis. Many found themselves losing faith in the world, asking how in the world could something like this happen? Why did this happen to me? ” Shiran Maor, Chairman of SafeHeart told Goodnet.

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With expertise in trauma, the SafeHeart team is well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the rave experience. The organization recognizes that attendees may have had intensified and more confusing encounters due to the nature of music raves, and their professionals are prepared to offer support with empathy and insight. “We can only imagine how devastating it must have been to endure such a terrifying experience during a peaceful rave. We are here to support any attendees from the raves in Southern Israel near Gaza on Saturday. You have here a community of experienced mental health professionals volunteering to help with all conditions and needs. The tribe is here for you,” the SafeHeart website states. 

Inviting a Healing Conversation
“We realized quickly that we had a short window opportunity for rapid intervention to help them process their experiences and prevent PTSD. Studies have shown that if therapy begins during the initial 4 weeks to 3 months following a traumatic incident there is a higher likelihood to help prevent PTSD,” Maor explained. 

Survivors of the Nova music festival are invited to connect with SafeHeart for support or simply to talk with therapists experienced in dealing with extreme traumatic events. The organization emphasizes its understanding of the rave culture, ensuring a safe and non-judgmental space for those seeking assistance.

Keeping the memory of the victims alive
A special exhibition created by The Tribe of Nova is on display in Tel Aviv, allowing the public to connect with the tragic events of the morning of the attack and pay tribute to the memory of the victims. Proceeds from the exhibition will be dedicated to helping the survivors of the festival. 

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“The exhibition recreates the festival area and includes all the original elements that were collected and brought from the area after the disaster, including: the festival setting, the stages and amplification equipment, bullet-holed toilets, charred vehicles, as well as personal equipment collected by the event producers and the Israel Police's Lahav 443 unit. Through video screens that combine unique documentation from the party, artistic projections and other means, we can, if only for a moment, return to the difficult moments that took place on the ground,” the Tribe of Nova website explains. “This exhibition is dedicated to the friends we have lost, to those who are still with us, and to those who will return with God's help.We will dance again” 

Support long term healing
During the first month following the event, SafeHeart recruited 500 therapists who were available to assist some 2,500 festival participants who requested assistance. Safe Heart is now looking to set up long term therapy treatment to continue to guide people in their healing journey. To date 600 festival survivors are working with SafeHeart therapists in long term therapy care.  

In the wake of the tragic events of October 7th, SafeHeart has emerged as a compassionate and professional support system for survivors of the Nova festival. Their specialized expertise in trauma and knowledge of the rave community uniquely positions them to provide assistance during this challenging time. By fostering a safe space for healing conversations, SafeHeart stands as a testament to resilience and empathy, reminding survivors that they are not alone on their journey towards recovery.

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