Sha’ar Menashe Mental Health Center
Sha’ar Menashe Mental Health Center is situated on 180 acres on the outskirts of Hadera. The hospital is one of the largest and most modern mental health care facilities in Israel. The catchment area is from Haroeh Junction north of Netanya in the south to Tirat Carmel near Haifa, in the north, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to Tiberias in the east. The hospital provides inpatient services including an Emergency room, Acute Open and Closed Wards, a Psychogeriatric Department, Chronic Care Departments, a Dual Diagnosis Department (drug addiction and mental illness), a Hostel for Holocaust Survivors, and a Maximum Security Unit (open to nationwide referrals),
The inpatient facility has 420 beds. There are approximately 2.500 referrals per year to the hospital, 65% are admitted. Inpatients receive psychiatric, psychological, biopsychosocial and dental care. In addition, there are occupational therapists social workers and criminologists on staff.
The Maximum Security Unit in the hospital is a unique national setting that includes four inpatient departments and one rehabilitation ward, Using educational techniques and skills training, the unit prepares the patients for their return to the community. Patients treated in the Maximum Secure Unit are either under court ordered compulsory hospitalization and/or exhibit violent behavior. The uniqueness of the center is in the development of treatment methods for patients with violent behavior, and provision of multi-disciplinary expert opinions that include: psychiatric, psychological and criminological evaluations. There are 128 inpatients in the Maximum Security unit. After the patients are stabilized they are transferred to the rehabilitation department where they are prepared for discharge.
The Hostel for Holocaust Survivors (established in 1998) that provides improved living conditions for its residents was previously managed by the Association of Public Health. As per the governments’ decision (2012), the Hostel for Holocaust Survivors located on hospital grounds, was returned to the State and the responsibility of Sha’ar Menashe Mental Health Center. Hostel residents are either disabled and bedridden or mentally ill patients who experienced the Holocaust in their youth.
Outpatient services are provided to approximately 1000 patients in the Eiron Clinic which is adjacent to the hospital. Outpatient services include multidisciplinary care and an option for a Day Care setting located in the hospital’s Community Center on the hospital grounds. The Community Center includes various rehabilitation settings operated by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Welfare. The broad spectrum of professional and cultural activities include a canteen, beauty shop, cosmetician services, second hand clothing shop, library, computer room, clubroom, laundry, game rooms. A motel is planned for the convenience of the patients’ family members.
The administrative staff provides the patients with a high quality and meticulous therapeutic environment, with all that is necessary to enable the patients to receive optimal care. This therapeutic environment earned the 2012 “Flag of Beauty” for the hospital and “the “Colleagues Award” for winning Five Stars of Beauty for 15 consecutive years from the Council for a Beautiful Israel.
The hospital is affiliated to the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. Medical students from the Israeli program and from the American program at the Technion perform psychiatry clerkship at Sha’ar Menashe during their clinical training. In addition, the hospital provides clinical supervision for criminology students from Bar Ilan University. Nursing students (Haifa University), Social Work students (Ruppin College) Psychology students (Ruppin College) do their field work at Sha’ar Menashe. The Mental Health Center also cooperates with nursing schools across the country (Hillel Yaffe Hospital, Emek Yizrael College, Laniado Nursing School, Haifa University, and the Kibbutz Seminar) in the process of training student nurses. Various departments and the outpatient clinic are recognized for residency in psychiatry and psychology. Staff psychiatrists and psychologists are examiners for specialization licensing in psychiatry and psychology, respectively.
During the British Mandate Sha’ar Menashe was a military airport and army base. With the establishment of the State if Israel, the Israel Defense Forces took over the base which prior to the annexation of the Arab Triangle to the State according to the Rhodes Agreement, was on the front line. After the Jordanian border was moved beyond Baka El Gharbiyya, and south of Wadi Ara the abandoned airport and its facilities and sophisticated houses became the largest absorption center and the first home in Israel for tens of thousands of Yemenite immigrants who arrived on the “magic carpet”. The absorption center was then named “Sha’ar Menashe”, because it was the gateway to workers settlements in the historic location of the Biblical tribe of Menashe. Later on, immigrants from Eastern Europe and China were also housed in Sha’ar Menashe. In March 1951 the center began to receive immigrants from Iraq.
When the absorption center was closed, the entire area was turned over to the “Joint” and an “Old Home” was established and officially opened with 1000 residents in 1953. It became one of the nicest villages for the elderly in the country. There were vegetable gardens and orchards, where the elderly worked, and in 1960 there were 1500 elderly residents. Adjacent to the village a hospital for the bedridden elderly that specialized in psychogeriatrics was established.
In 1953 a nursing school was opened on the premises and the graduates worked in the Old Home. In the beginning of 1961 it was decided to gradually close the village for the elderly and the doors finally closed in 1965. Parallel to its closing and transformation to a psychiatric hospital, the nursing school expanded and began to specialize in psychiatry. On October 1, 1965 the institution was transferred to the State. The nursing school closed in 1992.