Processing the Impact of War in Israel and Palestine


Posted in: Hot Topics, Parenting Concerns

Topics: Culture + Society, Stress

October 11, 2023

It is with great sorrow that we share this statement, today. Over the past several days, through news reporting and media, we have witnessed heart-wrenching acts of terrorism unfolding in Israel by the militant group Hamas, and violence throughout neighboring communities in the Middle East. The devastating loss of life, including countless innocent men, women, and children, has left many of us speechless and profoundly disturbed and saddened.

We recognize that this conflict, so close to many of our hearts, brings with it a range of feelings, emotional reactions, and personal beliefs. It is important to remember that each of us as caring adults – and each child or teen in our lives – will process these events differently, especially those with direct ties to the affected areas. Let us remain mindful of how the impacts of these events may be particularly painful for those with personal or historical experiences with terror, violence, and trauma. With that said, the deplorable acts of terrorism by Hamas cannot be tolerated.

Do lean on those around you for support. Our communities are made up of families and individuals with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, but our shared humanity binds us together. This is a time to affirm a universal understanding that acts of terror and widespread violence can never be excused. The preciousness of life holds true for all of us. The suffering, destruction, and heinous acts we are witnessing underscores the urgent need for peaceful dialogue, and an end to violence.

In these trying times, our children will be watching closely to how we respond. We encourage you to limit your own personal use of digital and social media, particularly when around children and teens. We also encourage you to approach those around you with empathy, offering a listening ear, understanding, or simply a moment of silence. This is a time for unity, compassion, and hope. It is a time to be there for our young people, and for each other.

The coming days and weeks will continue to be challenging, and the road to healing will be long. But together, bolstered by the strength of unity, we can manage this. We must manage this, for the sake our collective mental health. We must work together toward a brighter, more peaceful future – in the Middle East, and here at home.

For supporting a young person in your life right now, please consider the following resources: 

Thank you for coming to the Clay Center. We appreciate that you trust and turn to us for guidance in challenging times such as these.

With sympathy and compassion,
The Clay Center Team
Gene, Khadijah, Michelle, Sara, Spenser

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MGH Clay Center

The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital is a free, practical, online educational resource dedicated to prom...