No more shame, no more concealment, no more shying away from getting help. The mentally ill are no longer alone.
Sara was a bubbly, upbeat bride. The couple was deliriously joyful when they realized they’d soon become a threesome. But months later, what permeated their home was anything but joy. With the maturity uncharacteristic of a young husband, barely out of his teens, he turned to Ezer Mizion for help. “I understand that a new mother has to rest but my wife just ignores the baby no matter how hard he cries. Sometimes she’ll burst into tears for no apparent reason. She was fine after birth but now, three months later, she neglects the house, neglects the baby. It doesn’t appear that she is tired or even lazy. It seems as if she-she-she’s not there!” the young husband’s voice broke.
Yehudah was fortunate. He had chosen the right address to obtain help. “The professional staff at Ezer Mizion’s Family Counseling Center works to provide variety of professional tools, information, and support,” explains Rivka Zuckerman, Director of the Family Counseling Center. This includes individual counseling for family members, support groups providing information and coping tools in the form of weekly sessions followed by follow-up sessions at longer intervals, self-help groups, workshops teaching skills and coping tools, lectures on a variety of topics for educators, professional therapists and the general public, seminars, gatherings, and more.”
Shmuel and Chavah were aging parents to Yaakov, a mentally ill young man who, for eight years, had not attended any school or other institution and refused to go for evaluation and therapy. The parents came to Ezer Mizion with a desperate cry of “SOS!” They felt strangled, and as they got older, they also became more and more concerned about what would happen to their son when they could no longer carry the burden.
After a few sessions at the Mental Health Center, using the new insights and empowerment they received, the parents managed to get their son to evaluation and therapy. The people at the Center helped the parents actualize their son’s entitlements: disability allowance, Rehabilitation Package services, and more. Today the young man is set up in a rehabilitation system that includes residence and employment, and he attends afternoon activities at the Social Club. He is in a rehabilitative process that includes full, positive activity most hours of the day. Once a month, he goes to his parents for Shabbos. The parents see that their son is happy and they are at peace.
At the sheltered work facility, we offer a rehabilitation program for people coping with mental illness by slowly integrating them into the work world. He is given the opportunity to work at an interesting job that enables him to learn and advance, while being paid a rehabilitation stipend. At the same time, the clients join groups that prepare them to join the regular work force and acquire a variety of skills. They learn how to interact socially, accept criticism, deal with a boss, get along with colleagues, interpret events, and such. The protected environment serves as an excellent springboard to the outside workforce.
Yaakov’s parents advise others: Do not remain alone with your struggle. There is someone to turn to. There is hope. The situation can change with the right guidance and a rehabilitation process. You will see results. Don’t remain stuck in the place that we were when it all started…
Moshe is a former musician whose life fell apart due to mental illness. Music was his love. He longed for it.But in his current state, it seemed as distant as the moon.Moshe joined Ezer Mizion’s ‘Sounds of the Soul’ band, a musical project, the only one of its kind, geared for people with musical background who are eligible for the mental health Rehabilitation Package. The objective of this project is to help these people professionalize, enjoy joint creativity, and eventually integrate into the music industry, with all that involves from the professional, personal, and business aspects. The daily program includes a range of subjects: composition, playing, writing, sound, processing, and presentation. The division carries the most advanced musical equipment, a wide variety of musical instruments, and first-class professional learning options. There are artist workshops once a week, personal projects, and group projects, including production of a disk and a performance. The sounds that emerge from the heart penetrate the soul and heal it.
Moshe, the man who couldn’t get up in the morning, now travels every day to a different city to join his co-musicians in creating sounds of the soul.
Bella, a highly intelligent, perceptive young woman, struggles with mental illness. She attends Ezer Mizion’s Social Clubs where she is able to express her feelings under the guidance of its professional staff, helping her on the road to health. In her own words:
There is a Fear
There is a fear
That screams in a whisper
That knocks your head in the wall
There is terror
That freezes you
We won’t be able
To hold on.
Though it is rare,
It is there,
Creeping into every corner
Gnawing at every good bit
Bringing us back to the beginning.
The mentally ill can obtain discreet help and support at no cost at Ezer Mizion’s Mental Health Center, which, since its founding fifteen years ago, provides a multifaceted response to those lost in a nightmare of horror.