Bulletin: Psychology and Psychiatry in Israel

Articles

 

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New Article: Plotkin-Amrami & Brunner, Making Up ‘National Trauma’ in Israel

Plotkin-Amrami, Galia, and José Brunner. “Making Up ‘National Trauma’ in Israel: From Collective Identity to Collective Vulnerability.” Media, Culture & Society (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306312715589846

 

Abstract

We sketch a variety of institutional, discursive, professional, and personal ‘vectors’, dating back to the 1980s, in order to explain how ‘national trauma’ was able to go from a cultural into a professional category in Israeli mental health during the Al-Aqsa Intifada (2000–2005). Our genealogy follows Ian Hacking’s approach to transient mental illnesses, both illustrating its fertility and expanding its horizon. Thus, we also explore the dynamics that developed in the Israeli mental health community with the advent of ‘national trauma’: while the vast majority of Israeli psychologists and psychiatrists did not adopt the category, they embraced much of its underlying logic, establishing a link between Israeli identity and the mental harm said to be caused by Palestinian terror. Remarkably, the nexus of national identity and collective psychic vulnerability also prompted the cooperation of Jewish and Palestinian-Israeli mental health scholars seeking to explore the psychological effect that the minority status of Israeli Palestinians had on them during the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

 

 

New Article: Moran et al, Why Do Mental Health Consumers Who Receive Rehabilitation Services, Are Not Using Them?

Moran, Galia S., Yael Baruch, Faissal Azaiza, and Max Lachman. “Why Do Mental Health Consumers Who Receive Rehabilitation Services, Are Not Using Them? A Qualitative Investigation of Users’ Perspectives in Israel.” Community Mental Health Journal (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10597-015-9905-1

 

Abstract

A recovery-oriented approach to mental health involves creating person centered services and enhancing engagement in psychiatric rehabilitation. Israel’s Rehabilitation in the Community of Persons with Mental Disabilities Law is a progressive initiative that shifted the locus of psychiatric care to community care supporting individualized rehabilitation and recovery-oriented processes. Yet over a quarter of applicants do not implement their assigned rehabilitation plans and services. This qualitative study investigated reasons and experiences related to lack of utilization from applicants’ perspectives. Fifteen service users were interviewed face to face in semi-structured interviews analyzed using Grounded theory approach. Seven categories emerged: (1) Lack of knowledge and orientation; (2) Negative perceptions about rehabilitation services (3) Lack of active participation/shared decision-making; (4) Not feeling heard by the committee; (5) Lack of congruence between participants’ goals and committee’s final decisions; (6) Lack of escorting professionals’ competencies; and (7) Family members’ influence. The results are interpreted at the structural and human process levels. Suggestions are provided for augmenting systemic procedures and human interactions processes.

New Article: Nakash et al, Primary Mental Health Prevention Themes in Published Research and Academic Programs in Israel

Nakash, Ora, Liat Razon, and Itzhak Levav. “Primary Mental Health Prevention Themes in Published Research and Academic Programs in Israel.” Israel Journal of Health Policy Research (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2045-4015-4-3

 

Abstract
Background

The World Health Organization Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan (CMHAP) 2013–2020 proposes the implementation of primary prevention strategies to reduce the mental health burden of disease. The extent to which Israeli academic programs and published research adhere to the principles spelled out by the CMHAP is unknown.

Objective

To investigate the presence of mental health primary prevention themes in published research and academic programs in Israel.

Methods

We searched for mental health primary prevention themes in: (1) three major journals of psychiatry and social sciences during the years 2001–2012; (2) university graduate programs in psychology, social work and medicine in leading universities for the academic year of 2011–2012; and (3) doctoral and master’s theses approved in psychology and social work departments in five universities between the years 2007–2012.

We used a liberal definition of primary prevention to guide the above identification of themes, including those related to theory, methods or research information of direct or indirect application in practice.

Results

Of the 934 articles published in the three journals, 7.2%, n = 67, addressed primary prevention. Of the 899 courses in the 19 graduate programs 5.2%, n = 47, elective courses addressed primary prevention. Of the 1960 approved doctoral and master’s theses 6.2%, n = 123, addressed primary prevention. Only 11 (4.7%) articles, 5 (0.6%) courses, and 5 (0.3%) doctoral and master’s theses addressed primary prevention directly.

Conclusions

The psychiatric reform currently implemented in Israel and WHO CMHAP call for novel policies and course of action in all levels of prevention, including primary prevention. Yet, the latter is rarely a component of mental health education and research activities. The baseline we drew could serve to evaluate future progress in the field.
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New Article: Shelef et al, Risk Factors for Suicide Attempts among IDF Soldiers

Shelef, Leah, Dan Kaminsky, Meytal Carmon, Ron Kedem, Omer Bonne, J. John Mann, and Eyal Fruchter. “Risk Factors for Suicide Attempt among Israeli Defense Forces Soldiers: A Retrospective Case-Control Study.” Journal of Affective Disorders 186 (2015): 232-40.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.07.016

 

Abstract

Background

A major risk factor for suicide is suicide attempts. The aim of the present study was to assess risk factors for nonfatal suicide attempts.

Methods

The study’s cohort consisted of 246,814 soldiers who were divided into two groups: soldiers who made a suicide attempt (n=2310; 0.9%) and a control group of soldiers who did not (n=244,504; 99.1%). Socio-demographic and personal characteristics as well as psychiatric diagnoses were compared.

Results

The strongest risk factors for suicide attempt were serving less than 12 months (RR=7.09) and a history of unauthorized absence from service (RR=5.68). Moderate risk factors were low socioeconomic status (RR=2.17), psychiatric diagnoses at induction (RR=1.94), non-Jewish religion (RR=1.92), low intellectual rating score (RR=1.84), serving in non-combat unit (RR=1.72) and being born in the former Soviet Union (RR=1.61). A weak association was found between male gender and suicide attempt (RR=1.36). Soldiers who met more frequently with a primary care physician (PCP) had a higher risk for suicide attempt, as opposed to a mental health professional (MHCP), where frequent meetings were found to be a protective factor (P<0.0001). The psychiatric diagnoses associated with a suicide attempt were a cluster B personality disorder (RR=3.00), eating disorders (RR=2.78), mood disorders (RR=2.71) and adjustment disorders (RR=2.26).

Limitations

Mild suicidal behavior constitutes a much larger proportion than among civilians and may have secondary gain thus distorting the suicidal behavior data.

Conclusions

Training primary care physicians as gatekeepers and improved monitoring, may reduce the rate of suicide attempts.