MA’AYANEI HAYESHUA Medical Center founder and president Dr. Moshe Rothschild poses in front of the Bnei Brak facility..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
For many years, the ultra-Orthodox (haredi) community tried to hide relatives with psychiatric and psychological problems out of fear that it would ruin their children’s and their siblings’ chances for an arranged marriage.
A sign of changing norms is the dedication of the Mordechai Fachler Family Therapy Unit place last week at Bnei Brak’s non-profit Ma’ayanei Hayeshua Medical Center.
The new mental health center is the first of its kind in Israel and claims to “revolutionize” how the haredi and Orthodox communities are approaching the issue of mental health. The hospital staff and rabbinical team have been working with the communities to engage and promote awareness and treatment, removing the stigma from psychiatric treatment.
Three of the six floors are already being fully used and additional staff will enable the remaining floors to be opened and serve the communities.
The event was attended by guests from the UK and Israel, including family and friends of the late Rabbi Mordechai Fachler, as well as several board members of the British Friends of Ma’ayanei Hayeshua Medical Center.
Hospital founder and president Dr. Moshe Rothschild spoke about the special partnership between the hospital and the British Friends and noted that the ceremony was held in the mental health center’s Goldberg department, which was also donated through the British Friends.
Dr. Michael Bunzel, medical director of the psychiatric outpatients clinics, noted that they are “staffed by highly trained mental health professionals including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and therapists who are fully attuned to the nuances of treating clients from an Orthodox background.
“Being attached to a state-of-the art mental health facility, this unit is uniquely designed to serve those families in which one or more of the parents or children have particular psychiatric and psychological needs that go beyond the more traditional family therapy protocols.”
Chaim Fachler, the hospital’s director of international resource development, said the event, dedicated to his late brother Mordechai, was “beautiful, meaningful and moving.” Each of Mordechai Fachler’s sons – David, Chily and Gaby – spoke about different aspects of their father’s gift of helping others through professional therapy and thanked the hospital for allowing his legacy to be perpetuated through the continued work of the unit.
The original psychiatric outpatients unit opened 12 years ago, but the new, ultra-modern six-story building opened last year. Now it has an outpatient, day care and short-term inpatient (male) department.