As of July 2015, the responsibility for providing mental health services to the public was transferred from the Ministry of Health to the Kupot Cholim. For the average Kupah member (in non-acute and non-critical situations) this means figuring out how to receive therapy, possibly preceded by a psychological assessment or diagnosis.
For all mental health services you should start with your primary care doctor for referral. Once you find out where you need to go, check with the Kupah secretary or information service to see if you will need a Hitchayvut.
There are therapists available in outpatient clinics of general and psychiatric hospitals, or community clinics run by, (or by agreement with), the Kupat Cholim. These options are the cheapest (ranging from free to around 32 shekels, once per quarter), and you may be able to find one close to home. On the other hand, it may take a lot of time to get started, and your flexibility in choosing the right therapist for you may be limited.
The way that many people consider ideal, is choosing an independent therapist. This option is more expensive (around 55 shekels for the first visit and 132 for each subsequent session), and still does not mean unlimited choice. The Kupah has a listing of independent therapists from which to choose (links below). The listing will include location and may also include the languages in which the therapist will work. You can contact these therapists directly until you find the right one and make an appointment. At the Kupah, you will have to pay the co-payment and get a Hitchayvut to bring to the therapists’ office.
- Ministry of Health listing of community mental health clinics (Hebrew)
- Leumit listing of therapists for adults and the elderly (Hebrew)
- Leumit listing of therapists for children (Hebrew)
- Maccabi directory – click פתח רשימה and check: פסיכותרפיה – טיפול משפחתי, פסיכותרפיה – ילדים, פסיכותרפיה – מבוגרים, and/or פסיכותרפיה – נוער (Hebrew)
- Maccabi directory results – PDF (Hebrew)
- Clalit therapist listing – Google Sheet (Hebrew) [Hebrew explanation and link here]
- Meuhedet therapist listing – PDF (Hebrew)