Sabbath and Jewish Holidays Zimra volunteers visit mental health patients on every Sabbath, to ensure that not one of them feels lonely or isolated. These visits are enhanced on Jewish Holidays, when the volunteers make sure that all mental health patients feel the special atmosphere associated with each event – such as Shalach Manot on Purim, specially approved foods (wine, matzas) for Passover, a bonfire on Lag B’Omer, apple and honey on Rosh Hashanah, and lighting the Menora on Chanuka.
Home Visits It is very important for mental health patients to feel that they are part of their own community. Without social support they cannot overcome the difficulties they face on a daily basis and their mental condition may worsen. Zimra operates a special system of volunteers, who visit the patients in their homes, to give them the help and support that they need. Many mental health patients have been rehabilitated and returned to their normal lives thanks to the emotional and psychological support that they received from Zimra’s volunteers.
Out in Nature Being in nature has been proven to greatly help a person’s mental state and Zimra has taken upon itself to ensure that mental health patients are taken regularly on trips into nature, where they are evidently released from the tensions of the hospitals and other confined environments.
Workshops for Self-Awareness Zimra runs workshops for self-awareness for leading professionals in the field of mental health, to provide them with tools to help each and every mental health patient. To date several hundred professionals have participated in these workshops, which have helped mental health patients, to the extent that many have been able to stop taking medication. Workshops for professionals give mental health patients hope for the future.
Financial Support for Families Zimra provides financial and emotional support for the families of mental health patients, who are burdened with the care for their family members, including the hospitalization, medications and other treatments, referrals, etc. Zimra offers the family help, even after the patient has been discharged from hospital through their rehabilitation process within the community.
This help is especially important because in many cases the families are “embarrassed” by the situation and try to hide the mental illness from their community. Zimra provides all the financial and emotional assistance needed, to help the mental health patient return to a normal life.
Libraries One of Zimra’s largest projects in mental health institutions is libraries, as reading is one of the few ways that mental health patients can pass the difficult times they endure during hospitalization.
Sports Programs Zimra runs a series of sports programs, to help mental health patients ensure their physical health and keep fit. Patients play soccer, basketball, go running and more. The sense of release that they feel after participating in sporting events helps them cope with their conditions, overcome depression, and look forward to the next event.
Help for the Needy Zimra has expanded its definition of the term “mental health” to include any person who is in a disadvantaged situation, and extends help also to others who have experienced various traumas, such as widows, orphans, etc., in their times of need.