Research indicates that more than half of people with psychiatric disabilities are lonely. Their loneliness, that has personal and social negative consequences, is related to lack of opportunities to participate in social activities, impaired ability to make and keep friends, and stigma that creates barriers between them and their communities. In the same vain, the professional literature indicates that physically and socially active recreation and leisure activities are related to a higher quality of life and social inclusion of people with psychiatric disabilities.
Shekulo Tov provides leisure and recreational services in order to increase social participations and to improve social skills among Israelis with psychiatric disabilities and to increase social inclusion and acceptance while addressing social and cultural components that increase mental illness stigma and exclusion. In these programs, the service users enjoy recreational and leisure activities (e.g., workshops, plays, parties, trips, sports, volunteering in the community). We also initiate different activities aims at improving social skills, in a group or individualized settings. Participants report that these activities empower them, instill hope and give them the courage to meet new people and to experience new things.
Shekulo Tov also established a unique recreational and leisure program to Arab Muslims with psychiatric disabilities named SAWA (“Together” in Arabic language). SAWA seeks to increase social inclusion by initiating events in the community that will 1) raise awareness and demystify common beliefs about mental illness and that 2) allow community members to meet people with psychiatric disabilities and hear their personal stories. We believe that this combination of psycho-education and contact strategies will increase positive attitudes and social inclusion of people with psychiatric disabilities in the Arab Muslim population in Israel and will allow them to enjoy full social participation and to achieve their personal and social goals.
No. of areas of activities: 22
No. of monthly activities in each and every are: 20
No. of recipients of the service: 2,500
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