As part of the major reform of mental health services in Israel, the Government of Israel has transferred responsibility for providing mental health services to the health plans. In its efforts to monitor this transition, the Ministry of Health commissioned MJB to plan and conduct a survey of the general population focused on issues of mental health service availability, accessibility and stigma. This survey incorporated a special sub-study of children and youth with mental health issues, and placed particular emphasis on disadvantaged populations.
Initial findings indicate that there is no significant difference in the rate of children suffering from emotional or behavioral problems whether they are Jewish or Arab, wealthy or poor. However, socioeconomic factors do affect the rate of children who turn to professional treatment. A follow-up survey in 3 years, will examine how these issues have changed in the wake of the reform. The summary report of the current research is scheduled for publication later this year.