Did you ever feel so overwhelmed that it was impossible to take one step forward on your own? Most families do not experience such trauma in their lives but some do. They’re people just like us – the man who sits in the next row in your shul, the woman you were conversing with on that long supermarket line – regular people until suddenly their world caves in and nothing is the same. It is then that, without someone to hold their hand, they and their family will collapse from the unbearable anguish.
The K.’s of Petach Tikvah were such a family. Mr. K suddenly was stricken with severe psychotic attack and had to be hospitalized. Where, up until recently, there had been an upbeat, involved and caring father, now there was only a shell. The family, who had experienced the attack, was traumatized. It changed their lives.
What to do? How to handle? What to say? What to not say? The family’s social worker at Social Services referred the mother to Ezer Mizion’s Mental Health Family Counseling Center. It was only there that she found understanding… people who understood her terror and bewilderment and people who could guide her and help her take that first step, and then another and another. People who would help her and her family begin to function once again.
Compassionate professionals guided her on how to deal with her sick husband and how to explain to the children where their father had gone to and why. They helped her come to grips with the situation until she felt strong enough to cope and manage her home and family under the new reality.
The caring crutch will remain in place with ongoing support groups and awareness programs as long as the family needs it.
Mr. K was eventually released from the hospital. Now there were new challenges. How to cope in day to day life. So many normal situations that were no longer normal. Ezer Mizion’s Mental Health Counseling Center was there for her and the children. And they were there for the practical needs of the family – what are their entitlements? How to access them.
Still shocked and embarrassed, Mr. K remained hiding in his home, fearful of venturing into the community. A trained mentor was assigned to him to help him gradually re-enter the world that had been his. He would begin to daven in shul, mail a letter or shop in the corner grocery. It will be long haul but eventually, the Counseling Center will guide him and help place him in suitable employment.
The little things. The big things. They’re all important, all necessary to function as a normal family. Ezer Mizion’s many divisions are there to smooth out the bumps and now a shattered family can look forward to, once again, being whole with Ezer Mizion by its side.