Ezer Mizion Canada

New Hope for People Struggling with Mental Illness

Professional seminar for the chareidi community, arranged by the Ezer Mizion Mental Health Family Support Center
pr mental illness flower  MB900185197 About 600 people took part in the annual seminar of Ezer Mizion’s Family Counseling Center on the subject “A Bridge of Hope.” The seminar discussed the dilemmas of hope, the opportunities it offers, and the wonderful results that follow when you build up inner strength by taking the route of hope.
The seminar was chaired by Rabbi Zev Schechter. The audience included prominent educators, among them Roshei Yeshiva and mashgichim, and professionals, as well as parents and relatives of the mentally ill. Senior members of the Health Ministry staff honored the seminar with their presence and praised the initiative and its significance in the chareidi sector.
Rabbi Chananya Chollak, International Chairman of Ezer Mizion, greeted the attendees warmly. Top lecturers in the field presented their treatment approach and the latest innovations in the field to the eager listeners. Among the speakers were Professor Yisrael Strauss, Deputy Director of the Mental Health Centers in Beer Yaakov and Nes Tziona and Professor David Ro’eh, of the Mental Health department in Haifa University. Mr. Tzviel Rofeh, a group leader and author who himself overcame mental illness had the audience spellbound by his personal story. Dr. Uzi Shai, Tel Aviv Regional Psychiatrist, led a fascinating panel discussion, with the participation of Rabbi Chananya Chollak, Professor David Ro’eh, Professor Yisrael Strauss, Mr. Tzviel Rofeh, Rabbi Shlomo Stern, Rabbi Yehuda Silver, and Mr. Elad Milo, Director of Occupational Rehabilitation at Ezer Mizion.
As is well known, mental problems affect not only the patient himself but also his family members. At the same time, the family’s conduct and its ability to deal with the difficult situation have a strong impact on the patient’s ability to return to the stream of life and perhaps even recover. Many of the families who encounter these challenges have no idea where to turn for help or who can answer their questions and resolve their doubts. As a result, the patient often reaches treatment only after a significant delay.
The Family Support Center, a project of Ezer Mizion’s Mental Health Division, was established specifically in order to respond to these important needs. The Center’s staff helps the family determine if their concerns indeed indicate a real problem requiring treatment or if what they see is merely a fleeting phenomenon that will dissipate on its own. Families can also receive information about the particular problem and its ramifications, referral to available services and therapy options, assistance in actualizing entitlements, tools to help them cope, and emotional support for the family members.
At the Center, every family is entitled to receive free individual counseling and guidance sessions, one-on-one discussions with professionals, and participation in groups and workshops. Thanks to the Center, the lives of hundreds of families have changed for the better, and patients and their families were given new hope. Services at the Center are provided at no cost and are available to anyone who is interested, with full confidentiality assured. Neither eligibility for the “Rehabilitation Package,” nor official recognition or public exposure are required in order to receive services from the foremost professionals. All one has to do is pick up the phone and make an appointment.
The annual Seminar that took place this week in collaboration with the Bnei Brak Municipality is another level in their wonderful work. Even the musical interlude was a product of Ezer Mizion’s Mental Health Center: The performance was presented by members of “Sounds of the Soul Musical Arts Center,” one of the Division’s flagship programs, under the direction of Benny Schwartz. At the conclusion of the content-filled event, many participants remarked that the evening equipped them with insights that will help them cope better with mental illness in the community and the family.
The phone number of the Family Support Center is 03-6144535.
For the other rehabilitative services available at the center – mentors/coaches, social centers, occupational rehabilitation, call: 03-6144590.

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