MILAN – A counseling service to support students after October 7

A counseling service to reflect and exchange with others on the impact that the October 7 had on our lives. It’s the “Resilience Desk, first opened in late February in Milan for students, parents, and teachers of the Jewish Community’s school. A tool “to support the community in the face of a completely unprecedented situation,” Dalia Gubbay, school council member of the Community, said to Pagine Ebraiche. “The desk is the continuation of the emergency psychology project launched in November, thanks to the support of Fondazione Scuola (School Foundation), in order to face the discomfort and the emotions tied to the conflict together with the students from different classes,” emphasized Gubbay. The project is entrusted to Fabio Sbattella, psychologist, psychotherapist, and professor at the Catholic University of Milan, who, together with his team, followed students, teachers, and parents on a path of dialogue.
October 7, explained Sbattella to Pagine Ebraiche, “represented the overturning of the sense of security felt, not only in Israel, but also in the Jewish community in Milan. As outsiders, we have seen the sense of profound identity between those who are here and those who are in Israel. The very vivid sensation of belonging to a common history.” A tragic one, in this case.
“War always brings anguish and destruction along with it. In this case, we have registered the young people’s upset and their disbelief towards the sensation of being little understood outside of the community itself. The pain of witnessing to widespread adherence to Palestinian propaganda and the cognitive disorientation in the face of all these emotions.” The psychologist pointed out how all these months’ work has mostly been on “listening to their impressions without judging. A way to counter the sense of isolation.” Collective moments have been created to share emotions, and that has also helped. “Hearing fellow students have also felt similar sensations helps overcoming the feeling of confusion, of being wrong, or the shame of one’s pain or anger.” The Resilience Desk’s efforts over this matter will continue until the end of the school year and it is open to students, parents, and school’s staff. “Unfortunately, the effects of October 7 are still present to this day, and we will keep on feeling them,” concluded Gubbay.

Translation by Gianluca Toscano, revised by Francesca Galiazzo, students at the Secondary School of Modern Languages for Interpreters and Translators of the University of Trieste, interns at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities – Pagine Ebraiche.