The Department of Psychiatry is the only open ward in the southern area of Israel where patients are allowed to walk around the hospital area freely. Patients are referred to the Psychiatry Dep. from psychiatric clinics, the emergency department, other departments of the medical center and from other psychiatry hospitals outside the catchments area. Only adults above the age of 18 who suffer from mental diseases and disorders can be admitted to the Psychiatry Dep. The multi-disciplinary staff of the psychiatric department treats the patients with an overall view of all their physical, mental, psychiatric, psychological, social and functional aspects according to a bio-psycho-social model.
The Department of Psychiatry operates the mental health clinic at the Barzilai Medical Center as well as community mental health clinic in Kiryat Gat and Sderot. A substantial part of the Psychiatry Department and the mental health clinic activities is the treatment of patients with acute stress reactions following Qassam rockets attacks in the area.
The psychiatry department is the only referral center at the south of Israel which performs electro-convulsive therapy.