Attitudes, knowledge and preferences of the Israeli public regarding mental health services

Naomi Struch, Yechiel Shereshevsky, Alona Baidani-Auerbach, Max Lachman, Noga Sagiv, Tali Zehavi, Itzhak Levav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the public's preferences regarding the site of provision of mental health care and the basis for those preferences. A representative sample of the adult Israeli population (N= 1,583) was interviewed by telephone about their knowledge and attitudes. Self-referral to mental health professionals and primary medical doctors for milder disorders was low. Psychiatric clinics were preferred by 46% of the public; 35% preferred the general clinics, and the remaining 19% were indifferent. Quality of care was noted by 78% of respondents for their preference for psychiatric clinics. General hospitals were preferred for psychiatric inpatient care by 51% of the respondents compared to 23% who opted for psychiatric hospitals. Despite reasonable familiarity with mental health care, one-third of the respondents did not know whether there was a clinic in their neighborhood. Implications for action are discussed in light of the transfer of responsibility for psychiatric care from the Ministry of Health to the health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-140
Number of pages12
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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