The average waiting time for psychiatric treatment in Israel is about a year. According to the State Comptroller’s report for 2020, one in three Israelis will need mental health services during their lifetime, with only about 925 psychiatrists in Israel. The need for a change in budgetary approach and, above all, is fundamental.

The following figure reflects this more than anything else – about 1,200 people (a third of the hospital beds) are hospitalized in psychiatric hospitals who do not need an inpatient setting but an alternative response in the community. The current situation not only creates unnecessary burden in the psychiatric hospitals, but also violates their rights and worsens the condition of the patients.

In a discussion at the Health Committee to Mark International Mental Health Day, Avi Oren, chairman of the National Council for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at the Ministry of Health, described what he went through in a psychiatric hospital, “All I wanted to do was rest and what I remembered most was Her, 4 brothers attacked me and blew me up. It is the sharpest memory that accompanies me to this day. 3 years later my younger brother put an end to his life, I sank into deep mourning and depression, I was very worried about a crisis and the last thing I wanted was to get to these places again. “I decided to be hospitalized abroad, and I arrived at a general hospital in Australia and the gap between there and here became the mission of my life.”

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We all deal with mental states .. me too “

Upon taking office, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz stated that he intends to establish a comprehensive mental health reform that will put an end to the long-standing neglect. The increase in the mental health budget in the near budget will be about NIS 620 million, of which NIS 400 million will be allocated for the renovation and construction of mental health hospitals, and about NIS 120 million for increasing subsidies for mental health hospitals. Horowitz referred to the complexity of mental contestants at the Enoch Family Association conference, which took place several weeks ago: “I want to take advantage of this stage and this important conference to say – there is no shame in being a mental cop, almost all of us are dealing with complex mental states like depression or anxiety, me too.”

The key change in the near budget will be to shift the therapeutic weight to the community in several ways. First, NIS 40 million will be allocated to open a rehabilitation framework in the community and remove chronically hospitalized patients from the hospitals, crisis teams will be activated by the health funds that will come to the patient’s home, and new projects will be launched to expand day care services.

Health Committee Meeting | Photo: Danny Shem Tov

First thing: address the stigma

“We recognize a significant built-in gap in the number of psychiatrists in Israel, however, we see an increase each year in the number of psychiatric interns and nurses. We must reduce the gaps through more correct regulations that will make this system more accessible, accessible and efficient.” Tells Mako Health MK Idit Silman, chair of the health committee. “Nowadays, the private system really saves the public system, many approach it and thus reduce the burden on the public. And our job is to strengthen the public without destroying the privacy that backs it up.”

What is the most critical thing you are exposed to during the discussions that requires immediate treatment?

“Awareness. The field of mental health is a field whose sufferers remain in the shadows with quite a bit of shame. We are talking about children, residents of the envelope, soldiers, about victims of terrorism, drug addicts, eating disorders, cult victims, corona victims, and what not. The first thing that needs to be addressed is the stigma. “

How can the social stigma on the field be changed?

Discourse, education, and flooding. I am currently working in the Health Committee together with partners from all over the political spectrum, doctors, therapists and social organizations on a big “lowering the stigma – giving hope” campaign. This campaign will accompany the work of the Health Committee in the coming year at significant conferences, events and discussions attended by patients and caregivers.

By Editor

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