The Shortage of Arab Professionals in Mental Health Services...

The Shortage of Arab Professionals in Mental Health Services: Causes and Solutions


Of all the health fields, cultural sensitivity and linguistic understanding is particularly important in mental health services since treatment is mainly based on communication and dialogue between therapists and patients. However, although Arabs comprise 21 percent of the Israeli population, they only represent 2 percent of Israel's psychiatrists and 1.5 percent of its clinical psychologists, evidence of the challenges in recruiting professionals from the Arab population into the mental health field. A research publication from the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute explores obstacles to enrolling Arab students into training programs for mental-health professions and subsequently finding work, which include the extensive course of study needed to practice and the cultural stigma associated with mental health issues; identifies factors encouraging their integration into these tracks; explores existing solutions and suggests additional actions to increase the number of Arab professionals in these disciplines, such as easing academic requirements for acceptance into higher education programs and addressing cultural obstacles to change the perception of mental health issues in Arab society. Read the full report in Hebrew.

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