We’re There When It Hurts

Inauguration of Ezer Mizion’s Mental Health Building 2013

Do you remember learning how to swim? In your panic, you may have tried to fight the water, thrashing about and soon finding that it didn’t work. ‘Relax,’ said the instructor. ‘Take slow strokes. Trust me. You can do it. True, it’s different. You’re not used to moving in water.  But it really can be done. Just don’t fight it.

‘I had been fighting it,’ says Yaakov. ‘Not the water but something else. Something much more scary.  And there was no instructor to encourage me. I was all alone, or so I thought, too terrified to face it. Too traumatized to seek help. The woman I had married, the mother of my children, had metamorphosed into …into. I couldn’t even say the word. I was fighting it, trying to make believe it wasn’t there. Then one day I did what i should have done months ago. I called Ezer Mizion’s Mental Health Division. They understood immediately. I felt validated. I felt supported. I was no longer alone.  They opened my eyes and helped me understand that accepting the reality and ‘going from there’ is not only possible but the only option that will allow us to continue living our lives. “Thanks to Ezer Mizion, I started dealing with my situation, both on an individual basis and in a group framework. I received the tools and strength I needed in order to cope. To people who are in my position, I want to say: We did not choose these ‘gifts.’ Hashem chose them for us. He gives us the gifts and He also gives us the strength to deal with the situation. Whoever thinks he can escape reality and conceal it is mistaken. Ezer Mizion is my light in this saga. They help me achieve a better reality.  They have shown me that it is possible to deal with my challenges in a better way.

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Always Our Good Boy

Avi was always our good boy. The reports we always received about him expanded the heart and filled it with pride. Avi always had to be the best boy in the class and get the highest grades. With hindsight, we should have  been alerted to the  problem but we were too busy enjoying all the joy. In elementary school, too, he was at the top. We had no doubt that he would go to a high school.

And then, the principal called us in for a talk. He claimed that for Avi’s sensitive personality, a yeshiva with warm, personal attention would be better than a huge, bustling yeshiva. He was very definite but we knew better, so we thought. We felt that Avi could manage in a bigger place, too, and that, on the contrary, he would flourish there. So we sent Avi to the Yeshiva that we’d wanted from the start.

At the beginning of December, we sensed that something was awry with Avi. In Tevet, we were worried, and in January, we got a call from the Yeshiva office to come urgently to take Avi home because he wasn’t feeling well. When I came, I found him in his room, staring at the ceiling. He was apathetic and hardly communicated. I took him directly to the family doctor. He referred us for some tests, but claimed that Avi appeared to be physically healthy and he was concerned that he was experiencing a mental health crisis.

The days that followed were too hard to bear. We didn’t know where to turn and how to help our precious young man who was wilting before our very eyes. He lay in bed and refused to go out even for prayers.

He barely ate anything and refused to shower or go for a walk. Nothing interested him.  The smell in his vicinity was unbearable and the entire family was traumatized by the sounds and sights that emanated from his room.

We needed help desperately but how can we ask? We are the parents of a top student, aren’t we? We advise  others less fortunate than us- those unfortunate people with problems? It can’t be that we have become them! it was so hard but our son, our dear son. we can’t let pride – that great destroyer of lives – get in the way of helping him. Then we remembered some bits and pieces we had heard about Ezer Mizion having  a Mental Health Department. 100% confidential.  Should we? But… Well, we did.

Of course, it wasn’t simple. there was much trial and error. The staff held our hand throughout the ordeal.Their sensitivity was amazing. Avi received the right therapy and we received the emotional support that was so vital.

During the last eight months, Avi’s functioning has improved tremendously thank G-d and he recently started learning in a yeshiva near the house, with a small number of boys. He gets warm, personal attention there and has already integrated into the social circle and resumed a schedule of three study sessions a day.

I feel that Ezer Mizion saved Avi, me, and, actually, the entire family

Avi’s father

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Giving at the Workplace for Federal Employees via CFC

Since 2007 Ezer Mizion has been chosen as a participant in the U.S. government program’s Combined Federal Campaign that offers federal employees the opportunity of making contributions to non-profit organizations by payroll deductions. Continue reading Giving at the Workplace for Federal Employees via CFC

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Giving at the Workplace: CFC for Federal Employees

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Since 2007 Ezer Mizion has been chosen as a participant in the U.S. government program’s Combined Federal Campaign that offers federal employees the opportunity of making contributions to non-profit organizations by payroll deductions. Continue reading Giving at the Workplace: CFC for Federal EmployeesFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

In Lieu of Mommy

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Ezer Mizion

Yona is the wife of a schizophrenia patient. Life hasn’t been easy for her. Dealing with mental illness is a frightening nightmare only made worse by the loneliness. Mental illness is not something you share with the neighbors. On the outside, she is a bubbly mother of a large family, discussing the woes of a washing machine breakdown with another mother as they sit on the park bench together. On the inside, however, she is slowly falling apart because of a different type of breakdown –   the breakdown of a strong, supportive husband, the breakdown of a family. Yona is a heroine, trying to go it alone but she worries how long she can go on. When will she herself break down?

Bravely, she had made her way to the Ezer Mizion office. Maybe.  Maybe they can help a bit. What she received was so much more than she had hoped for. Continue reading In Lieu of MommyFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail