Letter: An Organization is Needed

Dear Lakewood scoop readers,

Bh, klal Yisrael is amazing!

Look how much money was collected to support the yidden in Eretz Yisrael who need it so much now!

We have organizations like RCCS, Chai lifelines and Bikur Cholim and Mesameach to help families deal with the major upheaval of a sick family member.

I was so happy to see an organization opened to help kids that come from home where parents are divorced.

So why am I writing this letter?

Because klal yisrael still needs an organization to help parents of kids/teens dealing with mental illness.

I know about Relief. They will help you with referrals and we are so thankful for that.

I know about Kulam Ahuvim and we are so grateful that at leat one of my children has a “big sister” to shmooze with once a week.

I know about kesher nafshi and they give parents tremendous chizzuk for struggling children(many have mental illness as well).

But when parents fly across the country to visit their kid in mental health facilities, sometimes overnight, there’s no help.

When parents spend hours driving and visiting their child in psychiatric hospital, they leave their house for 4-5 or 6 hours in a row and there’s no help.

When parents spend hours on the phone with therapist and referral agencies, the other children in the family don’t get the attention they need.

Supper consists of frozen pizza and pasta too many times to count.

They don’t get the parties, outing and treats that families that deal with physical illness are able to be helped with. Why?

Believe me, the siblings suffer as much as if their sibling had any other physical illness. They are often embarrassed by their siblings behavior and don’t want to bring friends home.

There are no financial help for families struggling with numbers so astronomical that most people can’t imagine paying. Most people that send there usually don’t have a choice not to send. It’s a question of Pikuach nefesh and keeping your child alive matters above else.

Most private insurance will not cover out of network services. Premiums can be a few hundred dollars per month for that child only(then there’s an extra few thousand dollars deductible!)

Bh , klal Yisrael is incredible but we need more!

We feel so alone and so overwhelmed!

Thank you for reading and I hope someone will be zoche to fulfill this tremendous task!

(Please don’t publish my name, thank you!

If anyone want to communicate with me I would be happy to answer any questions via email if you put me in touch!)

TLS welcomes your letters by submitting them to [email protected]

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. B’makom Ein Ish… you sound very passionate and very capable. You have a very valid point and you should look into starting such a thing! Organizations don’t just happen over night because it’s needed. Every single organization took years of pain turned to help the klal. They then took years to fundraise, raise awareness, resource and network. But it can be done if someone wants it enough and turns their pain into something so productive. I hope you do!

    • I hope this organization exist way before I’m in a position to create it!!

      It’s because I know how much work is needed to start such an organization that I’m writing here!!

    • Yid,
      Not sure if you read the whole letter.
      At the last paragraph OP switches from “they need…” To “WE NEED”, indicating that they are not an observer but a participant of the crisis.

      While many organizations were started by those who personally could have been helped by the one they go on to create,
      It is usually after they are in control of their own situation.

      Your reply was insensitive, and is akin to telling someone actively drowning and waving for help, to start training lifeguards.

  2. As a sister from someone who suffers with extreme mental illness (in and out of hospitals) I can agree. The siblings are quit looked over on. We actually need attention as well. We are scared for our siblings and we have no one to turn to since the parents are dealing with the sick child. (Which obviously is a must). They really need to have some kind of organization to help parents, siblings and everyone else with such a terrible situation. It’s traumatic as a sibling to see such a thing happening and even more so for the parents. Something needs to be done.

  3. We need an organization to sponsor the cost of a MSW Degree & in return, the therapist agrees to charge a lower fee for X number of years. This will lower the cost of therapy by having many more therapists get trained & enter the field & by the first few years of reduced fees.
    The current shortage of frum therapist’s has led to the cost of therapy to skyrocket in Lakewood & Brooklyn.

    • The problem here is that these kids/teens who have more severe conditions likely need a more experienced therapist with advanced training. Most new grads are already providing lower cost services by working at agencies.

  4. I feel for you and it’s realky painfull lot of money and sad, but many shuls or Kehilas have a Rav that hopefully can help suggest or help with things. Also the Gur Chasidus that people make fun of, have a very strong backing for tgeir Kehila of what I heard tome for us maybe to join dome Chasidik Kehila or maybe moving upstate to small community can help.

  5. Nesivos is an amazing organization, that is there to help the parents and kids with mental illness, and those who are struggling in yiddishkeit. Although they don’t have the funds to help financially they give tremendous support and guidance thru difficult times.

    • We know about Nesivos and what they help with.
      Bh, It’s an amazing organization but they don’t provide the support needed in time of crisis.
      They have support group for parents, they help with job or school placement for struggling teens, help find a therapist…

  6. I agree with you 100% but it will take another 100 years for things to really change in frum world. Just like there are organizations for almanh and yisomim and they are given everything they can imagine besides for the person that died but for divorced families they are left alone, broken, and with a ton of stigma and judgement. It’s the way it is and I don’t think anything is changing soon.

  7. The Jewish American Nurse Practitioner Psychiatric Association- JANPPA is a non profit organization with mental health resources for the community. Please check out janppa.org and/or email [email protected] to make suggestions, get involved, and donate.

    We look forward to servicing the community!

  8. Nesivos fills a certain specific need – they give guidance and run support groups.

    They do not provide badly needed practical help for the families nor do they host events for the suffering siblings etc. etc..

    They also do not offer funding. When a child has a mental illness or has suffered severe trauma, very often intense therapy, residential treatments, rehabs etc. are often essential for the stabilization and, hopefully, healing of the child. It is literally pikuach nefesh for the child – without any exaggeration. All of these cost astronomical amounts which are totally out of reach for most parents.

    We have many beautiful organizations helping families with a member who is physically ill. It is long overdue for an organization that helps the families struggling with the very painful challenge of a mentally ill or severely traumatized family member.

  9. I would add that financial help is immensely needed, even BEFORE the crisis stage, just to pay for therapists.. Most psychologists and social workers that I an aware of charge $150 – $500 per session and unlike any other doctor or specialist, do not take insurance (if there are those that do, please correct me), which for most families is extremely challenging and cost prohibitive. It likely results in pushing off or neglecting getting the needed therapy which can c”v and r”l lead to worse struggles.

  10. I could have written this letter. It’s so true as a family in crisis needs so much support but doesn’t have anywhere to turn. The hours visiting the child…spot on.

  11. Even something like arranging rides to a psychiatric hospital far away, there’s no way to coordinate . I was once driving weekly for a few weeks and wished I could offer rides but didn’t know how to get in touch with other families

    • So true! I was in the same boat… we’ll have to add that to services needed, rides to psychiatric hospitals!! Or even coordinate with other parents to send items or food when you can’t go yourself but someone else is going!
      Bikur cholim offers rides to other hospital , no?

      • Amen. Sister.
        Perhaps organizations with the volunteer structure in place can take the need of volunteers under their wings with the existing framework. It would be the same warm bubby, available teen and post sem. girl serving supper and doing homework with regular kids who have parents that are otherwise preoccupied. This would probably be something that can be done.

  12. there is no die in which all organizations are cast each one needs to be custom tailored towards the needs of those individuals and the sensitivities of their caregivers and adapted to the specific logistical challenges of such situations.

    every organization has its own neshama, usually of whomever poured his entire existence into it

    you cannot just chalk up any organization

    it begins with an inspiration, grows with tefillah and lives off good kavanos

  13. For transportation needs, meals, home help etc I don’t see why Bikur Cholim can’t help. If they help with physical illness, I would think they can help with families who need help with emotional illness. I think a separate branch of Bikur Cholim for this area should be put into place just like they have for postpartum women.
    Sometimes Amudim can help you get insurance to cover programs and sometimes funding. Perhaps Relief and Amudim can start a branch for actual funding of the cost of therapy. Therapists charge high fees because they know they’re in demand. Many don’t take insurance. I think something needs to be done about this on the Rabbinical and city advocate level. If people had to pay out of pocket for chemotherapy sessions, many would not be able to access it to be cured. Why is this any different?

  14. There is no reason that therapists can’t accept insurance. They just don’t want to be bothered with the paperwork involved in submitting it. Imagine if a doctor would refuse to accept insurance because he couldn’t be bothered with the paperwork. Would that be acceptable??

  15. Rav Chaim Epsteins Keren subsidizes therapy for teenagers. They pay out millions of dollars every year. But they dont do higher levels of care like rehab or supportive care like providing dinner or transportation…

    • Keren ezer lenefesh is aa amazing
      organization that pays for half of therapy sessions, unfortunately they will stop helping if child doesn’t attend mainstream bais yaakov/yeshiva…
      (In other words, if your child gets worse, help is not available anymore!)

  16. I totally get you, but what makes you think that families with physically ill children get the help they need? I barely hear from any organizations. I sure hope you don’t fall for their PR and ads…

  17. You can get most of these services from bikur cholim. They don’t discriminate based on type of illness. I’ve seen them send volunteers when parents had to visit patients in the psychiatric hospital. Also, there have been such organizations in the past but they closed due to lack of funding. Unless you have a donor, this is not realistic.

Comments are closed.