Casting Out the Stigma, Israel’s First Mental Health Expo Runs Monday – in English

The first mental health exhibition in Israel will take place on Monday – in English and tailored to the needs of Anglo-Saxon immigrants.

the one day event in jerusalem includes briefings and panels aimed at giving members of the public tools to understand and navigate Israel’s mental health provisions.

“The exhibition aims to give people an idea of ​​what is available to help and treat people facing mental health issues,” Chaim Fachler, one of the organizers, told The Times of Israel. “There has never been such an event before in Israel, even in Hebrew, and we are proud that English speakers are leading the way.”

“The buzz around this is raising awareness and helping break down the stigma around mental health before the first panel even starts.”

Some 1,000 people have registered to attend, and the steering committee has already decided that the event will take place every year, said Fachler, director of the mental health center at Mayanei HaYeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak, which organizes the event. exhibition with partners.

The goal of the event is to give people the same clarity regarding access to mental health that they already have regarding physical health, according to Fachler.

“When you break an arm or a leg, you know who to go to and what to ask, and that’s a well-known formula,” Fachler commented. “But when it comes to mental health, there are a lot more barriers. For example, do people realize that they have a challenge? Will they accept it? Who diagnoses? And then who helps? How to find the right professionals? People don’t know the answers and are often discouraged from asking, feel stigmatized or simply don’t know where to start.

“It’s a challenge for all Israelis, and even more so when your first language is not Hebrew, as it is for many English speakers in Israel.”

Organizers of the first Mental Health Expo in Israel, left to right: Dr Stuart Harris of Machon Dvir, Shlomo Katz of Relief Israel; Chaim Fachler, director of the mental health center at Mayanei HaYeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak; Kav Lanoar’s Ellie Rothstein; Moshe Lion, Mayor of Jerusalem; Esther Nathanson; Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem; Stephanie Strauss, YU Israel; Nechama Munk of Yeshiva University. (Courtesy)

Panels range from practical topics such as choosing the right mental health provider to more conceptual issues such as the impact of trauma on mental health and how to achieve resilience. Much research has highlighted the effect of the COVID pandemic on mental health turmoil, and the impact of two coronavirus-dominated years should be discussed as sessions progress.

The three main English-speaking Israeli mental health organizations in Israel are involved in organizing the event alongside Mayanei Hayeshua: Relief Resources Israel, Machon Dvir and Kav L’Noar. Other partners include Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work; the Municipality of Jerusalem; Clalit Health Services; Nefesh B’Nefesh; and the Israel Center for Drug Addiction.

Immigrants from the United States, Canada and other English-speaking countries are disproportionately represented in mental health professions in Israel, with a relatively large number of English speakers working in psychology, psychiatry, social work and in related fields.

This created momentum for the English exhibit – and Fachler said Hebrew-speaking mental health providers were showing great interest: “We are in touch with Hebrew organizations who are now talking about doing something similar for Hebrew audiences. .”

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