Mental Health Family Support

When Ezer Mizion launched its revolutionaryMentalHealthFamilyCounselingCentera few months ago, they never imagined the dimensions to which the needs addressed by the Center would spiral. Since its opening, the Center has been flooded with requests for information, counseling, or simply a listening ear.

Some of the callers are family members of individuals who have already been diagnosed and are receiving treatment. Many, however, are uncertain whether their loved one’s behavior is anomalous. The Center gives them an address where they can obtain professional answers to their questions in a sensitive, discreet manner.

One of the Center’s flagship projects is the series of monthly lectures on topics related to mental health. The lectures, which are advertised, attract family members of people coping with emotional crisis, professionals in the field, as well as the general public. As a result, people who harbor concerns about their relative can attend the lectures without concern that their participation will compromise confidentiality.

The most recent lecture addressed the subject of OCD – Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder- and attracted a crowd of over 150 people. The speaker, Dr .Yaakov Charnes, vice-chief psychiatrist of the Tel Aviv area, covered many angles of the not uncommon disorder. He enumerated typical symptoms of OCD, and pointed out the various forms the illness may take and the difficulty this poses for evaluation. Then he described the range of treatment options available today – therapy, medications, and psychological interventions such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic process).

The lecture was followed by a question and answer session.  In response to queries from the audience, Dr. Charnes explained that the average age at which OCD surfaces is in the teen years. Extreme, compulsive and repetitive behaviors in a teenager should alert parents to the possibility of a problem and spur them to early intervention.

In keeping with its motto: Their Challenges…Our Mission, Ezer Mizion offers many services for the mentally ill, enabling them to lead a more productive life. Ezer Mizion’sMentalHealthCenter offers professional support for the families of  the mentally challenged.

  • Support groups – Ezer Mizion offers support groups for siblings and for parents of mental health patients. The groups are run by a certified social worker specializing in the field, and offer a variety of tools to help the family cope with their challenge.
  • One on one professional counseling – In many cases, the family members benefit from a personal connection with a social worker who provides them with focused guidance, under conditions of maximum confidentiality.
  • Ongoing workshops – The workshops will focus on specific issues concerning families of mentally ill people, such as workshops for parents/siblings of mentally ill people focusing on their specific concerns and ways of coping.
  • Regular lectures – Ezer Mizion offers periodic lectures by doctors, psychologists on mental health issues. These talks are very important in providing updated information on new medications and innovative techniques.
  • Full day in-service – For family members who wish to increase their knowledge on a deeper level, these conferences feature lectures at a very high academic standard.

For further info on the wide range of  humanitarian efforts toward alleviating the plight of varied segments of Israel’s population, including the speech impaired, the cancer patient, the special child, the terror victim, visit us on the web at http://www.ezermizion.org.

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