Ezer Mizion’s Mental Health Department has hosted one of its many informational evenings. The subject of this recent event was on Mental Health and Marriage. Questions such as when is marriage recommended for someone dealing with mental health issues, what type of spouse to look for, how to maintain a happy, healthy home were addressed.
Ezer Mizion’s Strike A Match Division, which endeavors to bring together people who are of good marriage material but are hampered by medical or mental health issues, has much to contribute in this area. Months of research is done beforehand to determine the ability of each party to maintain a successful marriage. No shidduch can be suggested until all aspects of those involved are researched. This includes genetics, medical prognoses, medication used, long-term employment history and much more. Experts in each field are met with. Each issue is carefully weighed by those with many years of experience.
Much knowledge has been amassed in this area leading to confidence in bringing together two people who had been unable to navigate the shidduch scene on their own.
One example: A powerhouse of a girl, 25 suffers from a mild mental illness but is totally stable on medication. Mrs. Reisner, the Director of Strike A Match, met a gem of a boy. His background is very complicated, requiring him to live away from home. He attends a yeshiva in the morning and works in the afternoon. Recently the two celebrated their engagement, a match made in heaven!
Another shidduch in the works is a young man and woman who both have Downs Syndrome. The couple has met and is hoping to be able to marry but before they can get engaged they are going through the lengthy process of getting accepted into Alei Siach’s supervised home living. Hopefully they will soon be able to celebrate their engagement.
Several Downs young people have been able to marry and maintain successful relationships under careful supervision. Each one had watched his/her siblings move on in life, so sad that they themselves seem to be remaining in the same place indefinitely. These high functioning young adults have been able to create a deep relationship with each other. Watching them do their shopping together, glowing as they turn the key to their own apartment with their weekly groceries in tow brings tears to the eyes. He senses when she is sad and finds a way to bring that smile back, she adores him and admires his accomplishments…a truly loving couple.
Mental health issues, special needs, medical problems are, of course, major factors but with expert research and, when needed, sensitive hand-holding, a highly productive relationship can flourish.