Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center
|Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center|
Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center (Hebrew: בית החולים כפר שאול), established in 1951, is an Israeli public psychiatric hospital located between Givat Shaul and Har Nof, Jerusalem. It is affiliated with the Hadassah Medical Center and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The hospital is Jerusalem's designated psychiatric hospital for tourists who display mental health disturbances, and is widely known for its research on Jerusalem Syndrome.
The hospital is located on the grounds of the former Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, and makes use of buildings that remained intact after the massacre of Deir Yassin that occurred during the 1948 Palestine War.
The Givat Shaul mental health center opened in 1951, utilizing the houses and school building of Deir Yassin, which had been left untouched. It was originally a therapeutic community of 300 patients who spent most of the day working outdoors. It was called the Kfar Shaul Government Work Village for Mental Patients. In its early years, the majority of the patients were Holocaust survivors. The hospital now suffers from severe overcrowding and has an average occupancy rate of 110 percent. Udi Aloni, an Israeli director who made a film about the hospital, Forgiveness (2006), described it as dilapidated.
The hospital is known in particular for its association with Jerusalem Syndrome, a condition in which the sufferer is gripped by religious delusions. The hospital sees some 50 patients a year who are diagnosed with the condition. Israel psychologist Gregory Katz has said many of the patients are Pentecostals from rural parts of the United States and Scandinavia. The syndrome was first diagnosed in 1993 by Yair Bar-El, a former director of the hospital.
In 2000, archaeologists unearthed the remains of a winepress dated to the Byzantine or Roman era on the grounds of the hospital.
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- Katz, G. et al. Time zone change and major psychiatric morbidity: The results of a 6-year study in Jerusalem, Compr Psychiatry. 2002 Jan-Feb;43(1):37-40; doi:10.1053/comp.2002.29849
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- Aloni, Udi. "The specters of Kfar Shaul", Haaretz, January 2, 2010; see "Forgiveness", accessed December 4, 2010.
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- Israel Antiquities Authority, Kfar Shaul winepress