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A Qualitative Study of the Integration of Arab Muslim Israelis Suffering from Mental Disorders into the Normative Community

Abstract

This study focuses on the process of the integration of Arab Muslim Israelis suffering from mental disorders into the normative community, addressing perspectives of both people with mental disorders and the community. This qualitative-constructivist study seeks to understand the dynamics of face-to-face meetings by highlighting the participants’ points of view. The main themes of the findings included stereotypes and prejudices, gender discrimination, and the effect of face-to-face meetings on integration of people with mental disorders (PMD) into the community. The findings support former studies about the integration of PMD into the normative community, but add a unique finding that females suffer from double discrimination: both as women in a conservative society and as PMD. The study findings indicate a perception of lack of self-efficacy of PMD as a key barrier preventing integration into the community, which also prevents community members and counselors from accepting them or treating them as equals. We recommend on a social marketing campaign to be undertaken with the Arab Muslim community to refute stigmas and prejudices, particulary with double gender discrimination suffered by women with mental disorders in the Muslim community and training of community center counselors who have contact with the PMD population.

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Notes

  1. In the rehabilitation process, the program emphasizes rehabilitation, community work and public education. The community intervention process offers personal support from program coordinators, volunteers at community centers and within the community, and a support group that focuses on improving skills required for integration (Israel Association of Community Centers website, Amitim program, 2011).

  2. Tamra and Shefaram are cities in northern Israel; both ranked third out of ten in the social economic scale as of 2008. Tamra, population (as of December 2010) of 29,268. Shefaram, population of 37,732 (CBS).

  3. The participation of members of the normative community who participated in the study in group activities does not necessarily indicate their desire to accept people with mental disorders or integrate them into the community because they were not informed in advance by the community center that people suffering from mental disorders would participate in the activities.

  4. The Center for Culture, Youth and Sport, an Israeli government company owned by the Health Ministry.

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Correspondence to Anat Gesser-Edelsburg.

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Application was made to the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences Ethics Committee for research with human subjects at Haifa University and full ethical approval (No. 207/12) was granted.

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Gesser-Edelsburg, A., Shbat, S. A Qualitative Study of the Integration of Arab Muslim Israelis Suffering from Mental Disorders into the Normative Community. J Immigrant Minority Health 19, 686–696 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-016-0389-z

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Keywords

  • Qualitative study
  • Mental disorderd Israeli Arab Muslim
  • Integrating into normative community