Mental Health Service Utilization Among the Arabs in Israel Academic Article uri icon


  • National hospitalization records (1995, 1986, N = 15,698) reveal that Arab women utilize psychiatric services less than Arab men. The exact reverse occurs among Jewish patients. Moreover, Arab patients significantly underutilize mental health services, compared to Jewish patients. Possible reasons for these utilization patterns include: Arab health care utilization patterns in general; the availability of mental health services in Arab communities; the influence of the "cultural" over the "professional" in Arab mental health utilization; the lack of Arab mental health practitioners; Arab attitudes towards mental health; and gendered role constructions within Arab society. Findings emphasize the need for a policy of developing infrastructure and trained personnel that can provide services adapted to the special cultural characteristics of the Arab population.

publication date

  • January 1, 2002