Rise in Charedim using mental health centre

A mental health charity working with the Charedi community is reporting an upsurge in cases.

The Talking Matters psychological therapy centre in Stamford Hill receives NHS funding for 775 clients but currently supports more than 1,200 people of all ages.

It receives £105,000 from the NHS and £15,000 from the nominal fees users are asked to pay.

Centre founder José Martin said: “There is still a stigma associated with mental health — but it’s getting better. People are coming to us now. They just won’t tell their rabbi or neighbour.”

“Mental illness does affect shidduchim, so many don’t want others to know about their illness. Some rabbis will not give their blessing [for a wedding] as they still fail to see that psychological therapies have moved on since Freud.”

Ms Martin pointed out that the strictly Orthodox might not want to attend a mainstream centre where “they might hear or see inappropriate things.

“During group talks here there’s a mechitzah in the middle of the room and we discuss all things, from emotional health to physical health, unemployment and poverty as they all act as triggers for stress.”

Last updated: 1:47pm, November 1 2012