With coronavirus taking its toll in every corner of the world, this was a Pesach to remember for all of us. And while the news reports are filled with reports and projections about COVID-19’s global physical toll, the mental health issues sparked by the virus have been extremely significant. It has been nearly a month since we launched our coronavirus support line in conjunction with several organizations, with 970 calls received by the 88 mental health professionals who have volunteered to answer the phones. The calls have run the gamut, including issues such as anxiety, financial concerns, and abuse, to name just a few; and in keeping with a psak given by Rav Dovid Cohen that allowed people to reach out for help on Shabbos/Yom Tov, our volunteers were inundated with calls throughout Pesach.
Our website’s COVID-19 page has seen significant traffic over the last month, and our coronavirus videos featuring prominent mental health professionals have over 50,000 views. While most of us are weathering the storm at home with our families, for those who have been sexually abused by a family member, sheltering in place with relatives is an impossible situation. We partnered with the UJA as well as other private donors and placed more than 30 survivors of sexual abuse in safe locations for Pesach, making sure they had everything they needed; we will continue to keep them in a safe environment as the pandemic stretches on.
Amudim also released an animated video this week addressing anxiety and coping skills. Click here to view.
In addition, our director, Zvi Gluck, went live on Instagram with Barianna Mitzmann, a long time advocate of addressing the stigmas and issues related to anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns facing both the frum and secular world, men and women alike. Click here to see the interview.
In addition, our case managers continue to take calls and work with their clients remotely, many of whom are finding their personal struggles further compounded by coronavirus-related concerns. Despite the difficulties of working at home, our staff has stepped up their efforts, ensuring that crisis support is available for those in need.