The Psychiatric Division
The Division of Psychiatry focuses on clinical care, education, research, and community service.
1) The Psychiatric Division includes three tertiary Mental Health Care service Centers:
a) Beer-Sheva Mental Health Center
b) Soroka Medical Center Psychiatric Services
c) Barzilai Medical Center Psychiatric Services
a) Beer-Sheva Mental Health Center:
The Regional Mental Health Center (MHC) in Beer-Sheva provides expert mental health services to the entire population of Southern Israel and the Negev area, from Ashkelon to Eilat – a total of nearly 900 thousand.
Treatment at the MHC is based on the bio-psycho-social model of psychiatry and spans all degrees of clinical severity and intensity of care, for patients of all ages from Adolescents to the Elderly. These include an extensive Emergency Room/Intensive Care service; a complex of Outpatient Clinics with focused expert specialty sub-clinics and a Day-Care Center; an off-campus Child Psychiatry Center; inpatient wards for adolescents, separate male and female adult wards, Psycho-Geriatric and Dementia wards; extensive ambulatory and inpatient occupational therapy and rehabilitative services.
In its capacity as a regional center with a dedicated focus on the patient as a part of the community, the MHC provides a number of unique services, including a Family Support and Education Unit (MEITAL), dedicated to enhancing the coping capacities of the patients' immediate environment; an Institute for the assessment and treatment of Childhood Developmental Disorders, complete with a Therapeutic Pre-school Center; a national service for Dual Diagnosis patients (psychiatric patients with Alcohol/ Drug Abuse) providing de-toxification under psychiatric supervision; and a Mobile Drug Rehabilitation Unit which extends de-toxification services to outlying areas.
The MHC provides expert advice to Primary and Secondary Health Care Clinics, Social Services, the National Insurance Institute (Bituah Leumi), the National Probation Service, the Ministry of Defense and Veterans Association, Educational Psychological services, and other organizations.
2) Teaching: The Centers are affiliated to the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and provide active clinical teaching for students in all mental health-related academic programs, including students of two Medical Schools, Nurses, Paramedics, Pharmacists, Psychologists and Social Workers. The Beer-Sheva Mental Health Center hosts numerous professional workshops and meetings each year. The staff of all three canters are involved in extensive clinical and pre-clinical research and maintains active collaborations with other research centers at the forefront of national and international mental health research.
3) Research: The Psychiatric Division clinician scientists are engaged in a wide variety of clinical trials investigating new approaches for preventing and treating various conditions and diseases. The variety of therapies being studied range from new pharmaceutical products and medical devices to behavioral and biotechnological modalities (Trancranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), quantity electroencephalogram (QEEG)). Trials are performed in close collaboration with scientists and physicians from many areas of expertise across Israel's Universities.
As part of our efforts to advance human healthcare, the division of psychiatry actively promotes translational medicine and cross-disciplinary research.
Research is multidisciplinary, as basic scientists and clinicians combine efforts to produce synergy.
The main research fields include lithium treatment of manic depressive illness and the development of safer substitutes; genetics of personality; the treatment of anxiety disorders; magnetic stimulation of brain as a treatment for depression; use of antisense oligonucleotides as potential treatments of post-traumatic stress disorder; the role of microglia in the (mal)adaptive response to traumatic experience: Integrating endo-neuro-immune systems in the mechanisms underlying posttraumatic stress disorder;
and the effectiveness of neurofeedback on cognitive functioning in patients with Dementia.