Zvi Gluck

Breaking Free from the Stigma

While we have made headway in challenging the beliefs ingrained in our community about “sweeping problems under the rug,” there is still a clear need to raise awareness and decrease the stigma surrounding mental health. We take each case one day at a time, helping anyone we can who comes to us for help.

Yaakov found himself in an impossible situation. He was struggling with suicidal thoughts, feelings of hopeless and anxiety, and desperately wanted help; but pressure from his insular community and family prevented him from seeking support.

Yaakov had been grappling with these challenges for several years, waiting until he turned 18 so that he could “handle” things on his own. He resorted to overconsumption of vitamins and supplements in the hope that he would feel better, eventually realizing that this was not a solution.

When Yaakov called Amudim, he was hoping to find a therapist without his family knowing; he had also recently been triggered with memories of childhood abuse, yet his parents did not believe him. This was a case of a young man in dire need of support, feeling isolated and overwhelmed with both the mental distress and the financial burden that would be required to get the help he needed.

Our case manager first listened with empathy and compassion, validating Yaakov’s experience and praising his finding the courage to reach out. They discussed how in Yaakov’s community, seeking therapy is frowned upon, and Yaakov needed to hear that there is nothing “wrong” with him for needing outside support. The trauma and mental health concerns Yaakov faces are daunting; and while he was still resistant to therapy based on the preconditioned beliefs he had internalized for so long, Yaakov’s call for guidance and help with funding was the best action he could have taken.

Yaakov is now seeing a therapist every week; and while the journey to heal the various wounds and learn to cope with his challenges will be a long one, we are hopeful that with continued support, Yaakov will find his way to a place of healing and hope.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Amudim is just a phone call away and here to help.

*Names and details have been changed for privacy purposes

About the Author
Zvi Gluck is the CEO of Amudim, an organization dedicated to helping abuse victims and those suffering from addiction within the Jewish community, and has been heavily involved in crisis intervention and management for the past 20 years.
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