As we prepare for the start of a new school year here in Israel, NATAL is excited to announce the launch of Safe Place, NATAL's Digital Educational Online Portal for resiliency and trauma prevention. Developed in collaboration with CET, Israel's Center for Educational Technology and supported by Boeing International, Safe Place is an educational, online platform designed to provide resiliency, prevention, and empowerment skills for students living in heavily affected areas and, therefore, are at high risk for developing PTSD. The website has a wealth of resources for teachers, students, educators, and parents alike.
Safe Place is a multipurpose platform that offers tools during times of emergency as well as routine. During times of conflict, it is common for schools in southern Israel to be closed for extended periods of time and Safe Place can serve as a virtual classroom. Safe place enables the teacher to provide assignments to the students, as such preserving the sense of normalcy and structure of the classroom during emergency. Safe Place will act as a much needed source of stability during a time that, in many ways, is challenging and chaotic.
Safe Place serves an equally important purpose during quiet periods as well, as it is critical to learn preventative skills during routine times in order to implement them effectively during emergencies. Moreover, children have stress and anxiety from avenues unrelated to fear and trauma, such as pressure to perform well in school and extracurricular activities, and the website provides general tools to lower stress levels stemming from any source. The website provides simple, clear videos explanations of the origins of stress and fear as well as relaxation tips and tutorials. These techniques are first learned in a classroom setting with the intent to be replicated outside of the classroom during emergencies and other high-stress environments. As such, Safe Place is a critical learning tool for classrooms not only in southern Israel, but throughout the entire country as a means to strengthen resiliency and trauma prevention on the national level.
Click here to watch Safe Place's short animated video on Jacobson's relaxation technique. The video is in Hebrew, but it is easy to follow along!