Mental health pandemic: MHMC could offer solution

Mayanei Hayeshua says it is planning a nationwide network of outpatient clinics to help serve “record levels” of people with mental distress. 

Mayanei Hayeshua Medical team treat a patient with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the coronavirus unit, in Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, Bnei Brak, Israel, April 13, 2020 (photo credit: NATI SHOCHAT/FLASH 90)
Mayanei Hayeshua Medical team treat a patient with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the coronavirus unit, in Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, Bnei Brak, Israel, April 13, 2020
(photo credit: NATI SHOCHAT/FLASH 90)

If mental healthcare was a neglected part of Israel’s health system before the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is even more critical today. 

According to data published by the Israel Journal of Psychiatry, between 3% and 5% of the population suffers from various kinds of mental illnesses and mental disorder and requiretreatment every year.

“The stress of modern society means that anorexia, self-harming, suicide and other manifestations of mental distress in the community are at record levels,” said Chaim Fachler, director of the department of International Resource Development at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center (MHMC).

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Doctors at Mayanei Haeyshua (Credit: Courtesy)Doctors at Mayanei Haeyshua (Credit: Courtesy)

'Uncompromising mission of tikkun olam'

Mayanei Hayeshua is located in the ultra-Orthodox community of Bnei Brak but serves the entire Israeli community. It is the only general hospital in Israel with a psychiatric hospital located on the same campus, known as the Mayanei Hayeshua’s Mental Health Center.

The mental health center is in the process of planning a nationwide - and eventually global - network of outpatient mental health clinics. Fachler said MHMC is already partnering with a Jerusalem mental health clinic that asked the hospital to provide them with its expertise. In addition, it recently launched an awareness program for school principals to help them detect early signs of mental distress.

Mayanei Hayeshua’s Mental Health Center has already achieved national recognition, including by the Knesset, which called on the health minister to introduce the Mayanei Hayeshua model in every mental health center in Israel - not bad for a hospital that was founded less than three decades ago.

“We continue to boldly follow in the footsteps of our founder, Dr. Moshe Rothschild,” said Fachler. “We will continue to embrace our uncompromising mission of tikkun olam.”

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