Close to 2,000 participants from all over Israel attended a first-ever Expo dedicated entirely to raising awareness of mental health issues in Israel and beyond. Co-hosted by Mayanei Hayeshua, and tailored to the needs of English-speaking immigrants, the Expo included briefings and panels seeking to give people the same clarity regarding mental health access that they already have regarding physical health provision.
Professor Rael Strous, Medical Director of Mayanei Hayeshua’s Mental Health Wing, headed up two panels: “Building Safe and Healthy Mental Health Relationships;” and “Navigating the Israeli Mental Health System”. A third panel, “Halacha and Mental Health,” was moderated by Mayanei Hayeshua’s Chaim Fachler.
Noted psychologist and clinician, Yeshiva University’s Dr. David Pelcovitz, gave a keynote address on “The Magic of the Ordinary: Promoting Resilience in Complicated Times.” Other speakers included the Rosh HaYeshiva of Aish Hatorah, Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits, a long-time advocate of the urgent need to address mental health issues.
Mayanei Hayeshua had an impressive booth at the Expo, staffed by friendly and knowledgeable English-speakers. The tremendous interest in the Expo, with standing room only in some sessions, has prompted several mental health organizations to talk about doing something similar for the Hebrew-speaking public.
The day-long event was held at Jerusalem’s Nefesh B’Nefesh Campus. The Expo was the result of a unique collaboration between Mayanei Hayeshua, YU Israel, Relief Israel, Kav Lanoar, Machon Dvir, and the Jerusalem Municipality.