Safe Place: NATAL’s online trauma resiliency portal for children and teachers in school
Safe Place is a classroom based psycho-educational platform meant to help children and youth learn and develop stress management and coping skills. Safe Place was originally designed to help Israeli children living in Israel’s southern conflict zones cope with high levels of stress due to ongoing security threats, but is useful in learning how to cope with stress
in all its forms. Recognized by the Israel Ministry of Education and developed in partnership with the Israel Center for Educational Technology (CET), this program takes place in schools across the country at the elementary, middle, and high school level, led by a member of the Community Outreach team. Originally piloted in 2014 Safe Place is now in huge demand from schools across Israel’s demographic spectrum and it is currently being translated into Arabic and English.
Over the course of 4-6 workshops, teachers and students together learn about trauma, stress reactions, relaxation techniques and resiliency building via a range of online psycho-educational lesson plans, interactive presentations and group discussions. The final workshop normally takes the form of a fun age-appropriate group activity such as NATAL’s therapeutic puppet show “Princess K and the Magic Mirror,” playback theater workshops for older youth (13+), or various outdoor group activities.
Safe Place can be accessed remotely, enabling teachers to remain in contact with their students during periods of emergency when schools are normally closed. This helps teachers maintain a sense of order and structure for students during times characterized by intense anxiety and chaos. As a secondary benefit Safe Place helps youth understand how to cope with stress in all its forms (academic, home life, social pressures etc), and is a useful tool for teachers in leading group discussions and “taking the temperature” of their students’ wellbeing.
Watch this video from the Safe Place platform!