Founded in 1969, the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) is one of Israel’s major academic institutions with over 5,000 students on three campuses. The college specializes in high-tech engineering, industrial management, business administration, and life and health sciences.
JCT’s mission is to produce highly skilled professionals for Israel’s rapidly developing industries who possess a strong commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel. Dedicated to strengthening Jerusalem and responding to Israel’s socioeconomic needs, JCT empowers diverse segments of Israeli society—who would otherwise not have access to higher education—to become contributing members of Israel’s workforce.
As part of its efforts to respond to the needs of the community, JCT is partnering with Boston’s McLean Hospital to install Deconstructing Stigma: Changing Attitudes About Mental Health (DS) on three of its campuses.
This exhibit, featuring people from across Israel who live with mental health and substance use disorders themselves or in their families, is intended to raise awareness and encourage honest conversations about mental illness.
Collaborating With JCT
McLean Hospital’s Education Outreach team began its work in Israel in 2020, meeting with dozens of universities, organizations, and municipalities. As part of this engagement, the team met with leadership of JCT and forged a plan to bring DS, as well as an innovative research project related to our stigma reduction work, to the university.
Though the project was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the JCT DS exhibit opened in the fall of 2022.
Read more about the collaboration with JCT.
Changing Attitudes About Mental Health
“I kept getting messages that I didn’t really have a disease or a condition that required real treatment, so I stopped believing there was any point in asking for help. It felt like I was broken and there was no way to fix it,” said Noam, who lives in Afula, Israel.
“My family is now more understanding of what I am going through. I’ve learned to ask them for help, and they’ve realized how it can be done.”
Noam volunteers for Deconstructing Stigma because she believes that it is important to send a message to the Israeli community that even if someone seems “ok” that they may still be living with a mental health condition and may need help.
“Just because I am able to do things and be successful isn’t proof that I don’t have mental health issues,” said Noam. “Even when things are good, it is still a struggle.”
Each of the volunteers from Israel and beyond shares their story to encourage others to seek care and to know they are not alone. Though each person is unique, and their story is personal, the experiences of coping with mental illness and stigma are similar.
The goal of Deconstructing Stigma is to share the individual voices and by doing so, highlight the commonality that all of us share—mental health affects everyone.
Many organizations throughout Israel offer support and services to individuals and families in need. Find Israel-specific resources.
This page is also available in Hebrew.