Residents and Relatives
I arrived last week at Soteria with an extremely deep depression. Concerns about my stay here, and about the rest of my life… how could I get out of depression and move forward with my life? The staff admitted me in an amazing way. It was loving, calming, encouraging, and kept me busy when I needed an escape from my thoughts.
In one word.. Just amazing! Today, after a week, I feel much much better.. And I know that I couldn't have gone through the process I went through here anywhere else.
Thank you. You gave me my son back. – Mrs. C.
Soteria saved my life. – Big Mike
Hello, and happy holidays Dr. Pesach..I'm Y.'s [a resident's] aunt. I want to express my feelings, and thank you from the depths of my heart.I happen to be close to the American medical world… I'm pointing this out so that you'll understand how I was excited and surprised, in a positive way, from Y.'s, – who's like a son to me – treatment success, without the use of any antipsychotics.
Despite my awareness of the strong, and potentially destructive power of the American drug companies, when I saw Y. [in the emergency room], I couldn't imagine any other treatment besides medications, especially considering his history. I felt extreme stress when in the meeting with him the next day they told me he had arrived in a place that is slow to treat with drugs, and my prayers centered around finding the right drug as fast as possible.
Today, looking back, I'm a major supporter of your courage, and I know how right you were. I've researched Soteria, and I've read everything on the internet by Dr. Mosher, and how you've developed it since then. My husband [a physician] was completely skeptical, and I thought that we had to try, despite the risks.Thank God! You were certainly acted as His agent, at the right time, and the right place. It scares me to think what would have happened if this whole thing would have happened before Sept. 2016.
… I feel that your approach was the right one, and I thank you for what you have done. I can imagine how hard your work is, and I hope this email will give you a bit of strength to keep going. I pray that you will continue to be a divine agent for all of your patients. So happy holidays, and may we continue to hear good news… Blessings,
Staff and Volunteers
My name is Noam, I'm 28 years old and have lived here in Jerusalem a number of years. During the day I'm a medical student at Hadassah Ein Kerem, and I come to Soteria mainly at nights and on weekends. I like to visit new places, cook, play guitar, and I have a small collection of turtles.
One of the courses I learned in year three at university was a kind of psychology intro that Professor Pessach taught. In addition to the regular course material, he told us of his dream to open the house. About a year and a half later my eyes came across, coincidence or not, a facebook post about the intended opening of the place. I was happy to see that his idea was going to become a reality, and I really wanted to be there when at the very beginning.
I usually come to the house twice a week, and besides that I'm just there. I'm there, open and ready to be a part of the flow of life at the house. The atmosphere can be pleasant, friendly and smiley, but sometimes there are crises and storms.
We talk a lot, study, cook and go shopping together, sometimes we're disappointed and annoyed together, sometimes singing and dancing. The flow is dynamic, and depends on who is staying at the time, and the feel everyone brings with them. During the conversations with residents who come here, with their difficulties and problems, I feel that slowly and carefully, I find ways to help soften their experiences. Often the most effective encouragement and support comes from other residents, and our job is just to stay out of the way.
Besides how we all eat together, and running the house is done cooperatively and as a community, the relationships are characterized by honesty and directness… seeing eye to eye. I feel I've learned over time to be a bit more real, and to know how to talk openly and pay attention instead of giving advice off the cuff. I feel that some of this has spread out to Noam outside of the house too. That makes me happy.
My name is Shmuel Yosef. I came here to visit a friend – I called just to say hi, and he told me he was having a breakdown, and he's in a "facility." "Sure I'll come!" When I came to visit, it felt more like the kind of coffee shop I used to hang out as a kid, not a "facility." During my visit with my friend, we hung out, played Catan, and had a sing in with guitars and bongos. And they treated me to some amazing vegetarian food.
I'm finishing up my Master's in Social Work at Haifa U., see clients, and I'm a husband and father of 4 kids – but I take out time every week to volunteer a shift at Soteria. It's extremely rewarding. It's a real phenomenon… people there from all types of backgrounds – from very religious, to spiritual, to "secular" – staff and residents, all able to respect and care for each other. I've been able to give of myself in a very unique way, just being a part of the scene, having a heart to heart, laughing and crying, playing ping-pong, dishes, cooking, keeping a watchful eye out when necessary – it's all good at Soteria.
It's a real privilege to be at the very beginning of cutting edge, new mental health treatment at Soteria. To sit in meetings with top mental health professionals… I think the future is happening now at Soteria. These are going to open everywhere. It's cheaper for a gov. than hospitalization, it's way more humane, human really, and much less stigmatizing. I'm seeing people's lives being saved from a life of stigmatization.