Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Holocaust Survivors

By Gelena Blishteyn
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Through this new critical community initiative, the Marks JCH will address the mental health needs of Russian-speaking Holocaust survivors as well as educate caregivers and disseminate resources through a PCTI approach to mental health supports. Services developed will include:

  • screening survivors for mental health challenges
  • creating a referral network for PCTI mental health supports
  • conducting counseling groups onsite which address bereavement, depressions, adjustment to change, and anxiety
  • connecting survivors with alternative therapies
  • working towards reducing isolation
  • mitigating stigma associated with mental health services with the Russian emigre community
  • scaling our advanced care planning services with our partners at the Shorefront YM-YWHA
  • training caregivers and home acre agencies on the PCTI perspective, mental health risk factors, and appropriate interventions for survivors with our partners at the JCC of Greater Coney Island

Over the last several years the Marks JCH has grown and deepened its work with Holocaust survivors to include our Memory café for survivors and caregivers struggling with the effects of memory loss as well as our critical advanced care planning with survivors and their families to ensure their wishes being honored. As services have grown so have the needs of aging and frail survivors, our professionals have witnessed firsthand the mental health issues rising among survivors – depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Coupled with physical decline and lack of support networks survivors are prone to loneliness and isolation. We are honored to be able to develop and launch these crtical services to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations served by the Marks JCH.


For more information please reach out to Holocasust Survivor Center Director, Maya Bourshtein

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