As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, individuals of all ages are left feeling isolated, helpless, and looking for support like never before. Despite the resiliency of the human spirit, this “new normal” is taking its toll on countless members of our community – family members, neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Thousands of individuals have turned to OHEL for care, comfort, and mental health services, and OHEL continues to be the central address for the heavy lifting necessary to support the community during these trying times. The OHEL ACCESS line has been ringing consistently with urgent requests to actively and directly aid with Domestic Violence, Anxiety, Care Giving for individuals with disabilities and older adults, Coping, Loss, and Grief.
OHEL’s numbers tell a story of impact, compassion, and care. OHEL’s immediate March launch of “TheraZoom,” a hub for tele-mental health services to anyone in need, has impacted the lives of countless children, adults, and older adults with over 8,000 tele-mental health sessions offered to 1,250 individuals. There have been 75 TheraZoom Webinars and Support Groups with over 5,000 participants, 30+ programs (concerts, magic shows, kumsitzes, and game shows) with over 5,000 children and adults with disabilities (and their families), 20 special direct service virtual sessions with OHEL DayHab clients, over 32,000 masks and other PPE equipment distributed to 450 OHEL Direct Support Professionals who lovingly provide care 24/7 to 500 OHEL residents.
The obstacles have been significant, with trauma emerging from an entire shift in communal life...an inability to bury and adequately mourn the loss of a loved one, the interruption in simchahs planned, re-imagined celebrations and the subsequent disappointment, persistent demands from parents as they navigate daily childcare while managing a profession, lack of support, and beyond. OHEL has been there, with love and compassion freely given, and will continue to help individuals face each obstacle day to day...attending to the needs of each individual who reaches out and providing easily accessible resources to those who do not.
The uncertainty of what the summer will bring looms over parents and professionals who face the unknown with their livelihood at stake. Summer camp has been a mainstay of the American Jewish experience for two months a year; many have already said they can’t run this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to publish guidelines for summer camp operations; however, the fear has set in as families wait for answers. Secondarily, the profound concern over a second wave of infection presents fear and, without a roadmap, families are faced with a sense of desperation. OHEL will develop ways to support these newly-developing struggles into the coming months, as the situation develops and as we all adapt to the new normal.
If you or someone you know can benefit from OHEL’s many supportive services during this challenging time, visit www.ohelfamily.org/covid19 or call us today at 800-603-OHEL. To help elevate someone’s life today, please visit www.ohelfamily.org/donate.