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Mental Health Clinic to Open in Modi’in Illit

Mental health has been a stepchild of the nation’s healthcare system, and the chareidi community remains a low priority within that system, as was documented in the latest report released by the Office of the State Comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss last week.

Modi’in Illit Deputy Mayor Yaakov Wallenstein, who is responsible for the city’s healthcare portfolio, has been working to advance mental health care in his community since assuming his post, recently announcing a breakthrough as per Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman.

Today, isru chag, a ceremony is taking place to affix mezuzot on the community’s new mental health clinic, established through the Bayit Cham nonprofit, addressing mental health issues in the chareidi community. The organization, headed by Rabbi Shmuel Munk and Rabbi Yoram Mordechai, already operates a number of mental health clinics in the chareidi sector around Israel. 

Attending the ceremony will be the community’s mora d’asra HaRav Meir Kessler, Mayor Yaakov Gutterman, Deputy Minister of Health Litzman, and Finance Committee Chair MK Moshe Gafne. Other notables and community officials are also expected to attend. 

The staff of the new clinic will include an array of mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, clinical and rehab psychologists, social workers, physical therapists, and other allied team members, the daily HaMevaser reports. 

Wallenstein told HaMevaser that while one hopes the clinic will not be too busy, one must also accept the reality that mental health issues exist in all communities, including chareidim, and these issues must be addressed, not ignored. He is hopeful that the clinic will prove beneficial and result in an improved quality of life for those in need as well as their families.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

One Response

  1. Bayit Cham does phenomenal work!! They are the ones who brought this taboo topic into the open in the chareidi community in Israel. Besides for their mental health clinics in Bnei Brak, Yerushalayim, Elad and now Modiin Illit (Kityat Sefer/Brachfeld), they ran a series of mental health awareness seminars in many diffrerent cities. I attended one (a series of 5) and saw that after each lecture, participants crowded around the lecturer with their questions until the hall manager turned off the lights to get them to leave so he could lock up! They also run vocational rehab programs all over the Israel, placing people with mental health issues in the mainstream workplace with vocational coaches for support. As Wallerstein says, we would prefer if there would not be a need, but there IS a need and Bayit Cham’s message is: don’t bury your head in the sand!! Delay in seeking help can spell the difference between lifelong disability chas veshalom or, with proper help, returning to a full, fuctional and fulfulling life.

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