Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Social Work
Zahava Solomon is a professor of psychiatric epidemiology and social work at Tel Aviv University and a leading scholar in the field of traumatic stress. Her work examines the psychological effects of combat stress reactions and war captivity as well as the Holocaust. Her numerous research and scholarly writings made combat stress reaction and post traumatic stress disorder internationally known and have influenced the policies and practices of governments around the world. Her awards include the Laufer Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement given by the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies and, recently, the prestigious Israel Prize for research in social work.
BREAKING THE WALL OF MASS TRAUMA. How Psychiatric Epidemiology Can Help Reduce the Impact of Traumatic Events
War, violence, and abuse have consequences that go much beyond physical destruction and pain. Armed conflicts, acts of terror, political violence, torture, and natural disasters affect millions around the world, with lasting social, political, economic, and psychological consequences. These mass traumatic events generate complex effects not only on those directly affected by mental and physical damages: traumas are passed on to the victims’ families and communities even through the following generations. The existence of these long-term effects has been known for some time, but health care systems still do not address the problem, leaving especially the survivors of devastated developing countries to face the aftermath without any support. The Mass Trauma Research Group at I-CORE, led by psychologist Zahava Solomon of Tel Aviv University, aims to fill the gap between theoretical literature and the still inexistent practical solutions by exploring what triggers our individual and collective ability to prepare, adjust, and react before, during, and after traumatic events. Based on sociological, psychological, and biological studies, the researchers develop and assess realistic interventions. Solomon has influenced the policies and practices of governments around the world with her prolific research on stress reaction and post-traumatic stress disorder – for her lifelong achievements in social work, she was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize in 2009. Using an unprecedented multidisciplinary approach, Zahava Solomon seeks to find innovative and creative perspectives to create solutions which might inform future policies worldwide and diminish the devastating impact of trauma on our planet.