Saturday, June 03, 2023

Organization shines a light on key programs during Mental Health Awareness Month.

(Courtesy of Ohel) According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five U.S. adults experiences mental illness each year, and one in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. As our country faces a mental health crisis, Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services offers a range of resources – many of which are free of charge.

Ohel was founded in 1969 as a foster care agency. Today, it focuses on social and emotional support services to meet needs across generations. A sample of Ohel’s programs that help individuals and communities includes:

Trauma Centers: The Ohel Zachter Family National Trauma Center and the Ohel Kestenbaum International Children’s Services continue Ohel’s legacy of providing support in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event, pre-bereavement efforts, and community education. Ohel Zachter prioritizes reactive support for national crises and families combating tragedies. Its partner, Ohel Kestenbaum, develops proactive trauma-informed, resilience-based curriculums for schools and synagogues. Over the years, the Ohel Trauma team has worked on several high-profile community-based events like the Surfside condo collapse, the Malibu fires and the Pittsburgh shootings.

Older Adult Services: Mental health struggles do not simply disappear over time; families need help navigating the challenges that these diagnoses can bring as people age. Ohel empowers older adults to age with dignity and provides families peace of mind. The organization works one-on-one with families to match social workers with older adults based on their individual needs and language preferences, including Yiddish, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese, to name a few.

Reimagining Webinars: For many people, group support is a game changer. Ohel hosts free monthly webinars to address grief and other topical areas within mental health. Each “Reimagining” webinar includes a panel of speakers, including Ohel leadership, special guests, and community stakeholders. They collaborate and provide a safe space for guests to listen, learn, and share experiences anonymously. The series is a great way to work through niche areas that impact mental health, and to help identify solutions.

Addiction Treatment: Ohel’s new outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Program helps individuals recover in a stigma-free and respectful environment. Services include individual and group therapy for men, women and teens, and support for family members.

In addition, Ohel’s on-site clinic also offers in-person therapy for local New Yorkers and Zoom therapy on a national scale. For more information, contact Ohel Access at [email protected] or 800-603-Ohel(6435).

“There should never be shame or stigma in addressing your mental health needs,” said Dr. Blumenthal, director of Ohel’s Zachter Family National Trauma Center. “Many individuals attempt to cope with a mental illness on their own due to fear, but there is always a benefit to professional treatment. We all have unique circumstances, and May is a timely moment to reflect, recognize symptoms, and identify resources to focus on healing.”

To learn more, visit www.ohelfamily.org 

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