In the last week of November 2019, Professor Rael Strous, the South African-born medical director of Mayanei Hayeshua’s Mental Health Centre, and professor of psychiatry at Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Medicine, was in London for a busy round of meetings and events organised by the British Friends of Mayanei Hayeshua.
At a training event, “Food Fight: tackling the stigma of eating disorders,” held at London’s St Pancras Hospital, Professor Strous delivered the keynote address. Over 100 education, healthcare and allied professionals, as well as survivors, their carers and families, attended the event that was moderated by author Dr Sharon Raymond, a prominent independent safeguarding adults and children trainer. Professor Strous described the expertise and experience of the Mayanei Hayeshua’s Mental Health Centre in combatting the stigma that surrounds eating disorders. Other speakers included psychiatrists, therapists and educators.
Professor Strous then led an international panel awareness event in St John’s Wood Synagogue, “Mental Health in the Jewish Community – Facing the Challenge Together,” which attracted over 150 people. In response to the many questions from the audience, Professor Strous gave examples based on his vast experience in tackling the array of critical mental health issues affecting the community at Mayanei Hayeshua. Other members of the international line-up included renowned psychologist / educator, Rabbi Zvi Hersh Weinreb (USA); addiction psychiatrist Dr Robert Cohen (UK); and GP Dr Jaqueline Marshall (UK), formerly Mental Health lead for Brent.
In consultation with Professor Louise Howard, Professor of Women’s Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, Professor Strous discussed future collaboration on a joint research project.
Professor Strous was also invited to address the top classes and staff of the Hasmonean Schools. The head teacher spoke of the “amazing opportunity” afforded to the students and staff to meet someone of Professor Strous’ caliber.
During this jam-packed week in London, Professor Strous also held private meetings with influential Community leaders and educators.