Michal Herzog remarked on her visit to Bayit Cham Centers for Mental Wellness: “Bayit Cham, under the leadership of Rabbi Arie Munk, leads exciting initiatives in the field of mental health and has brought a welcome change in the treatment of mental health issues, especially in ultra-Orthodox society.”
On Thursday, Mrs. Michal Herzog, the wife of Israel’s president, came to visit Bayit Cham’s main headquarters in Bnei Brak. She met with the director, Rabbi Arie Munk, and the heads of the various departments, including clinical social workers and psychologists who presented the culturally sensitive therapeutic and rehabilitative services which are provided for thousands of men and women with mental health challenges from all sectors – orthodox, religious and secular, comprehensive treatment for children and adult survivors of sexual trauma, and the array of vocational rehabilitation programs to integrate people with special needs at mainstream jobs.
A., 38 years old, did not leave a dry eye when she shared her struggle of many years’ coping with bipolar disease, and about the rehabilitation process she went through and continues to undergo, thanks to Bayit Cham.
D., 55 years old, a resident of the south with special needs, was fired from many jobs throughout his life. Finally, at Bayit Cham he was able to receive a cushion of support, stability and individualized guidance. Today he is integrated at a job in the mainstream workplace and feels like an employee of equal value.
Rabbi Arie Munk, CEO of Bayit Cham, presented to Mrs. Herzog the organization’s activity dealing with sensitive issues that for years were taboo in the ultra-orthodox and religious sectors, and his long-standing battle to redefine the issue of mental health care and reduce stigma. He said: “The visit to Bayit Cham of Mrs. Michal Herzog, the president of Israel’s wife, is an important and valuable statement. Michal Herzog moved us when she chose to put a spotlight on the most transparent people in our society, and bring to the fore the issue of mental health that is important to her and close to her heart.”
Michal Herzog was moved and praised Bayit Cham’s work: “I hear the cries of people with mental health challenges that I meet, they talk to me about the need for culturally sensitive treatment, and the fact that there are no suitable answers for the crisis of faith they are experiencing. Bayit Cham’s response is important and necessary. The sensitive initiatives led by Bayit Cham, led by Rabbi Arie Munk, bring about a welcome change in the treatment of people with mental health challenges, and add diverse and much more appropriate forms of treatment for them.”