Mental illness. It shatters families. They need help desperately yet they cower in a corner, too ashamed to ask. Helpless, they try to cope. And when they cannot? Distraught, they search for an address. Someone they can trust. Someone who really cares. Someone who will turn their own schedule upside down because they really want to help. They approach Ezer Mizion. Where the staff understands. Where they do not have to be ashamed. Where they will receive everything they need and more.
Several families of patients hospitalized at Gehah Psychiatric Facility contacted Ezer Mizion reporting that, unfortunately, there is no Shabbat atmosphere at all in the facility., Week after week, the religious patients have no opportunity to experience the beauty of Shabbat, a basic component of their previous lives and so vital to their eventual rehabilitation. Some of the family members have to walk in all the way from nearby cities in order to create the Shabbat atmosphere for their relative.
Moshe Yisraeli, Ezer Mizion Petach Tikvah branch director, understood the need. He contacted the ward heads and senior staff. The facility agreed to his plan and every Shabbat, volunteers will come to the ward and organize a Kabbalat Shabbat prayer, with joyful song, Kiddush, and a Shabbat aura, so that the patients in this ward, too, could experience Shabbat joy. The volunteers were hand-picked and trained regarding the regulations of the facility and what to expect from this group of special-needs patients. Technical details in dealing with the complexities of Shabbat laws regarding electric doors etc. were expertly handled.
Problems arose. Problems were solved. And the project became a reality. Shabbat had entered the portals of Gehah Psychiatric Facility courtesy of Ezer Mizion.