– On the Sabbath and holidays, loneliness strikes home. Zimra’s volunteers visit the hospitals on the Sabbath and holidays, and bring a warm ambience to the lonely patients. This inspires the patients who are empowered for the upcoming weekdays.
– Giving Shalach Manot on Purim to the emotionally ill transforms this joyous holiday from a drab day to one of great happiness. Volunteers of Zimra visit each patient, giving them Shalach Manot.
– For the Passover festival, Zimra goes into high-gear, setting up a distribution center for food for the patients and their families. The volunteers visit all the patients, providing them with wine, Matzot, and other Kosher for Passover items.
– The Apple and Honey campaign for Rosh Hashanah heralds the New Year. Before the holiday, volunteers carefully prepare the symbolic foods for the patients. Equipped with the special Zimra packages of symbolic foods, the patients’ mood improves immensely. Now they can look forward to a good year, a year filled with both physical and emotional well-being!
– Chanukah lights dispel the darkness of the mentally ill. During each night of Chanukah volunteers come and light candles with the patients. They remain to talk, offering assistance. In addition, Zimra organizes an annual Chanukah party, with plenty of song and dance. Zimra volunteers take part in the party.
– The services of Zimra volunteers are all-encompassing. They prepare and distribute food baskets to the families of the mentally ill. They are involved with driving the patients from the hospitals to their homes. They organize events and shows at the hospitals, and conduct the Sabbath Eve and festival services in a special atmosphere.
Feeling part of a community, with a support network, is of supreme importance for the mentally ill. Without social support, they face insurmountable difficulties in coping with their challenges. Their emotional condition can worsen. Zimra’s volunteers visit the patients in their homes, providing encouragement and help. Often, these visits are a lifeline to the mentally ill, stabilizing their condition, and leading to their return to normal lives. Hundreds of patients have been released from the hospitals, and return to a normal life.
Exposure to nature does wonders for the psychological well-being of the mentally ill, causing them joy and releasing their tensions. Zimra organizes nature trips as part of the patients’ rehabilitation. The results are amazing, as many patients improve after the trips, and some are even released from the hospital.
Zimra runs workshops for self-awareness conducted by leading mental health professionals, thus enhancing the patients’ coping techniques. Hundreds of patients have participated in these workshops and improved their quality of life with hope for the future.
Financial Support for Families
Zimra provides financial support for the families of the mental health patients. The families are burdened with the care of their family members. They need help with treatments and medications during hospitalization. In addition, once released from the hospital, Zimra takes care of integrating them in the community with physical and emotional assistance during the process.
Food distribution to the families depends on donations. We try to distribute food every few months to stabilize the family’s financial situation and assist them to return to routine.
A major project is setting up hospital libraries for the mentally ill. Reading is one of the few options for them to have quality time and positive experiences — a distraction from their tormenting thoughts and memories. The libraries cost tens of thousands of shekels, yet have valuable results. The books transform the lengthy hospital stay into a pleasant one.
Zimra organizes sports activities for the emotionally ill. Physical fitness strengthens their resilience. Zimra often organizes running marathons, soccer and basketball matches, and other sports events. Each time the patients engage in sports, their mood is enhanced, and this helps them cope. Release of tension as a result of sports raises their spirits, offsetting depression.
Help to the Needy
Under the umbrella of “emotionally ill” are many categories. Not necessarily those who are hospitalized, but also those who underwent traumatic events like orphans, the homeless, and more. Zimra helps in the process of weddings of the mentally ill, when they need counseling.
We’re there to help them at this milestone!
Zimra provides financial and support for the families of the mental health patients. They bear the financial burden of caring for their family members, whether through hospitalization, medications, referrals, and therapies. Zimra offers the family help, even after the patients’ release from the hospital, when they undergo rehabilitation in the community.
This help is especially important because in many cases the families have feelings of stigma, and try to hide the mental illness from their community. Zimra discretely provides financial and emotional assistance to help the mental health patient return to a normative life.