Patient ends her life at psychiatric hospital where Lital Yael Melnik was treated

Many politicians have spoken out around the need to improve mental health services in Israel.

A team of doctors discuss mental health (Illustrative) (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
A team of doctors discuss mental health (Illustrative)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Ma'ale Carmel Psychiatric Hospital reported that a minor in the care of the hospital ended her life. This is the institution where the late Lital Yael Melnik, who was allegedly murdered by hospital therapist Edward Kachura,  was hospitalized. The court ruled on Tuesday to extend Kachura’s detention by three days. 

The management of the Maale HaCarmel Mental Health Medical Center in Tirat Carmel announced on Tuesday evening that a girl who was hospitalized took her own life. It was further reported that the case was reported to the police and the Ministry of Health and that "the hospital staff are very upset by this incident and are sharing in the family's pain."

The director of the medical center stated that "he will work with the management of the Ministry of Health to ensure that the incident is thoroughly and professionally investigated by an external party with knowledge and experience in order to fully understand the situation."

Chairman of the Mental Health Lobby, MK Michal Woldiger (Religious Zionism), responded: "I can no longer hear of this situation. I do not know the details of this case, but there have been too many recent cases, which only reinforce the terrible state of the mental health field in Israel. COVID-19 has exposed even more of the issues in the system. 

She added, "The lack of available treatment within the community and the huge shortage of staff, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and nurses, both in and out of hospitals, are not conducive to patient recovery. This is a very serious indictment against the State of Israel. I send my condolences to the family and ask for their forgiveness. I will not rest until the mental health care system is functioning properly."

MK Emilie Moatti commented on the incident and wrote that “this death is a failure of us all, no matter how we look at it — the mental health system urgently needs to strengthen and reinforce its standards. People with such invisible illnesses must receive the most dedicated care that public systems are capable of. I share in her family’s grief, the grief of her loved ones and the grief of the staff at Ma'ale Carmel. "

MK Keti Shitrit (Likud) wrote: "I was heartbroken upon hearing the news of the death of the girl who ended her life. The mental health system is an issue that the State of Israel has been neglecting for quite a few years. As chairman of the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Lobby together with Coalition Chairman MK Idit Silman, we are doing everything so that such cases do not continue. Condolences to the family. R.I.P.”