Mental Health, Ministry of Health
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Mental Health

Mental Health

Man has a body and a mind, which have complex and varied interrelations, ultimately creating one complete unit. Just as there are problems with the function of the body, which afflict a person and impair his function, so there are sometimes mental disorders or diseases, which also impair the person. The impairments can stem from various causes, some of which may be once-off and may resolve, while others continue over time and require long-term treatment.
Although people coping with severe mental disorders are sometimes perceived as being people whose behavior is difficult to understand or unpredictable, people coping with severe mental disorders can usually, with proper treatment, integrate in society just as anybody who suffers from a medical problem. Therefore, stigmatizing them or discriminating against them causes them suffering and limits them, without there being justification for this.

The Mental Health Reform
The year 2012 saw the commencement of the Mental Health Reform, by means of the National Health Insurance Order, 2012, issued by the Minister of Health, with the objective of transferring the responsibility for the provision of mental health services from the Ministry of Health to the HMOs (kupot cholim).
This change will lead to the impending unification between the system that offers treatment for bodily ailments and that which treats mental crises, through the HMOs (kupot cholim).

We have been becoming aware for years that depression crises will within a few years become the most common reason for impaired function in the world of medicine. Thus the importance of being able to identify them in their early, mild stages, in order to prevent deterioration.
Advanced treatment in the realm of mental health will be given based on advanced means that require the infrastructure and knowledge of general medicine. The linkage with general medicine, embodied in the Mental Health Reform, will allow implementation of this advance.

Coping with bodily ailments is accompanied by a significant mental response; similarly, their are, unfortunately, also bodily responses that accompany crises of mental origin. A reform that regards the body-mind as complete unit will allow each of these complex and common conditions to be addressed with sensitive and appropriate treatment.

What is a Mental Disorder?
Mental disorder is a general name for a group of diseases and disorders that affect how a person feels, thinks, behaves and communicates with his fellow. The diagnosis of mental disorders is performed in accordance with defined professional criteria, as per the ICD classification of disease.‎  Mental disorders can be chronic, temporary or once-off, and can appear in varying levels of severity. Among the most common mental disorders are depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety.‎ 

Feelings of pressure, fear, stress or sadness, which are an integral part of everybody’s range of feelings, are experienced with such great intensity by people who suffer from a mental disorder, that they have difficulty with daily function.  There are disorders that are characterized by states of psychosis: hallucinations, delusions and defective perception of reality, of various intensities.

The early detection of the signs of mental disorders and provision of appropriate treatment is very important.‎ Effective treatment can include administration of medications, psychological treatment, rehabilitation in the community and more, depending on the type of disorder and its severity. Persons suffering from a mental disorder need support and understanding just the same as persons suffering from disorders that are not defined as mental. In order to provide assistance to persons suffering from mental disorders, a hospitalization system, an ambulatory (clinic) system and a community rehabilitation system have been set up.‎   

The Mental Health Department in the Ministry of Health is responsible for defining policy in the field of mental health; carrying out supervision and inspection of treatment, rehabilitation and addiction frameworks; addressing the needs of patients at various levels of mental health and in various arenas, including hospitalization, ambulatory, rehabilitation, addiction, advanced health care for autistic children; development of training programs in mental health.

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