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Making a Full Recovery with Achiezer's One-Stop Approach to Crisis Management
February 14, 2017

Part VI of a special series highlighting Achiezer's innovative programs which service the community throughout the year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

A fire leaves a family homeless, with no possessions but the shirts on their backs.

An older man is missing. The family fears for his safety.

A young father has passed away suddenly. The family members are struggling to carry on.

When crisis hits, the need for help is clear. The kind of help? Not always so obvious.

In any crisis situation, Achiezer staff will try to provide immediate assistance as necessary, but that is just the beginning. "In many cases," explains Achiezer's Intake Coordinator Esther Novak, "properly handling the situation means first understanding what is really needed and then deciding how to implement the plan." A situation might warrant multiple approaches - monetary assistance, insurance advocacy, assistance from government offices, emotional support. Achiezer will coordinate all efforts for the maximum benefit of the recipients.

In cases a where a family's home became inhabitable, several vendors came forward to provide clothing for the family. Achiezer coordinated the offers so that the family received many of its basic needs, instead of duplicates of the same item. Achiezer also work to ensure the family's dignity by serving as a clearinghouse for community donations. Connections with local real-estate offices were made to expedite the rental of a temporary home and assistance was given in negotiating with the insurance company.

In a number of missing-persons cases, Achiezer has coordinated searches, working with the police and fire departments, RNSP and community volunteers to put up flyers, assigned specific search areas and, in general, ensured that the search is conducted in the most effective manner possible. In some cases, when possible, searches are actually conducted under the radar, preserving the family's privacy, while cooperating with police and other officials to bring a speedy resolution to the crisis.

When a parent is ill or passes away, there are so many holes left that need to be filled, both practically and emotionally. In such circumstances, Achiezer staff and volunteers work to address the myriad needs of the family. Finances are usually a huge concern - whether because of loss of income or medical bills that have accrued. Financial advisors help with both managing the here and now, as well as planning for the future. Achiezer also works together with other community organizations to secure financial aid, coordinate meals, set up cleaning help and find mentors and tutors for children. In many cases, family members can benefit from professional support to help process their ordeal.

Through its vast experience, many connections and internal resources, Achiezer is equipped to take a holistic approach and thus address each crisis in the most effective way possible. One of its most valuable resources is its Mental Health Department, headed by Dr. Lowinger. As a professional with over thirty years of experience, Dr. Lowinger is eminently qualified to address these crises.

To be sure, many of the calls Dr. Lowinger fields are not for crisis situations, but for basic referrals. Callers are looking for a professional in the community to address a particular need, and Dr. Lowinger uses her expertise to direct them accordingly. Sometimes, callers don't really know what they need; she will then troubleshoot to connect them with the right kind of help.

Many times, Dr. Lowinger and Esther Novak work hand-in-hand. Just as Esther will send callers Dr. Lowinger's way as part of Achiezer's multi-pronged approach to crisis, Dr. Lowinger takes advantage of Achiezer's one-stop approach to ensure that those who call for mental-health assistance receive guidance in alleviating other aspects of their situations. In this way, clients have the best chance at pulling through.

Dr. Lowinger sums up what sets Achiezer's Mental-Health and Crisis Management Services apart: "We understand the community, we know what resources are available, and callers know everything is handled completely confidentially. They are comfortable calling here."

And that knowledge ensures that people will get the help they need!

Thanks to Achiezer, the community always has somewhere to turn... with just one call. Join Achiezer on February 26, 2017 at Bay Harbour Mall, in supporting a unified goal to always be on call, with just one call.


The services offered by Achiezer's Mental Health Department are exceptional in several ways:

Fast responses to requests for referrals

24/7 access through the Urgent Line

On-Site mental health counseling provided when necessary (either as interim care while waiting for insurance coverage or when there is no insurance coverage and no money for private care)

One-stop approach means all aspects of clients' situations are addressed


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