A letter from Dr. Michael Elterman, R. Psych and Dr. Simon Elterman, R. Psych


The events of October 7th have had a profound effect on our community — distress, worry, and in some cases, a traumatic reaction. We all have different reactions to this brutal terrorist attack on the Jewish people.


Most people will be upset and worried. This is normal. Many may feel insecure about their own personal safety now in Canada with the antisemitic acts we are hearing about.  


Our purpose in providing this communication is not for you to diagnose yourself but rather for you to know that you are not alone. There are people who care about you and there are resources in the community to help if your own reaction has become a worry.  



What You Might Notice in Yourself, Your Children, and Others 

A key question to ask yourself about your reaction to events is “how has it affected my ability to function on a day-to-day basis?” Has it affected your ability to focus, to work or had an effect on your social relationships? Has it affected your sleep, your appetite, or have you stopped enjoying the things that used to give you pleasure?  


You may see these signs of stress occurring in your family and friends. You may be able to help them by directing them to available resources in the community.  


Children often react differently to distress and worry. You may see a change in their behaviour: they may become more aggressive or irritable, or they may become more quiet and withdrawn. They may have more tantrums, fight with friends, have trouble sleeping including nightmares, wet the bed, or show fears of situations that they did not have before. They may show increased separation anxiety from parents and fear for their parents’ safety. 



How to Help 

There are a few things you can do to help yourself if you recognize these reactions in yourself:  

  • Talk to family and friends and share your thoughts and feelings about the situation and your reactions 

  • Take a break from the news. It doesn’t help to watch the news continuously.  

  • Continue with your routines such as meeting friends, attending classes, and exercising. 

  • Practice self-care such as remembering to eat and sleep in a healthy way.  



Mental Health Resources

Click here to access a full list of resources with the Jewish community and across the province:

  • Emergency Crisis Support

  • Jewish Support Services

  • Provincial Support Lines

  • Hebrew Speaking Counsellors



How to talk to your kids

Click here for a list of resources that will help you talk with your kids about Israel and antisemitism.