Serving Israel’s Mentally Ill

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Always on the lookout for means of fulfilling the needs of vulnerable segments of the population, Ezer Mizion has recently opened a new physical fitness center for men dealing with mental health issues. The center focuses on weight lifting, muscle strengthening, and nutrition training. Its long-term mission is to prepare the client for gainful employment, enabling him to  gradually re-enter mainstream society.

Ezer Mizion offers a variety of psychological support services and rehabilitative programs for Israel’s residents suffering from psychological disorders, emotional issues and mental illnesses. These services include:

A Big Brother/Sister Program that pairs individuals suffering from mental illnesses with trained mentors who provide companionship, offer assistance with basic daily function, and teach the skills necessary for independent living.

Rehabilitative Employment Centers that provide mentally handicapped people with basic vocational training and employment, and ease their integration into free market employment.

A Psychological Referral Team that recommends appropriate psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors to people grappling with emotional disturbances, mental health issues or difficult relationships.

A Network of Psychiatrists and Psychologists throughout Israel who provide their services at a discount to patients referred by Ezer Mizion.

A 24-hour Crisis Hotline for non-medical emergencies, including mental health crises such as suicide attempts or severe manic episodes.

A Sheltered Work Facility offers a rehabilitation program for people coping with mental illness by integrating them into the work world. The client joins the work force as an employee in the facility, while receiving personal, professional mentoring. At the facility, he has the chance to work at an interesting job that enables him to learn and advance, while being paid a rehabilitation stipend. The supportive work environment enables him to actualize the personal potential latent in everyone. A broad range of occupations are offered at the facility, such as electronics, wiring, and welding. At the same time, the clients join groups that prepare them to join the regular work force, participate in religious and social activities, and acquire a variety of skills. They learn how to interact socially, accept criticism, deal with a boss, get along with colleagues, interpret events, and such. The protected environment serves as an excellent springboard to work on the free market.

Social Clubs enable the clients to create, experience, dream, rejuvenate, step out of the routine, and discover the light within them, with friends like them who can understand what they are going through. The clubs serve as a dynamic framework and hold cultural events, enrichment courses, workshops on a variety of topics, lectures on child-raising and home management, holiday parties, community volunteer work, trips, and more. The clubs are operated by professionals in the field of mental health rehabilitation, and are accompanied by an art therapist, teachers in each of the fields, counselors, and volunteers.

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