FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does Ometz mean?
Ometz is the Hebrew word for courage. We chose this name because we know how much courage it takes to reach out for help when you have a child with a mental illness.
What information do I need to provide in order to receive help from Ometz?
You will need to fill out an intake form on our site or over the phone. This form includes basic contact information for you as well as details on your child’s diagnosis (up to age 18) and his/her healthcare providers.
Do I need to be a member of Bnai Yeshurun to become a Project Ometz client?
You do not need to be a member of Bnai Yeshurun. Project Ometz is a community wide initiative in Bergen County, NJ. We are designed to support the needs of families affiliated with the various RCBC shuls in the area.
Can I sign up/call in anonymously or must I give my real name?
We at Project Ometz are particularly sensitive to confidentiality and understand how difficult it is to reach out using your real name. However, we feel real names are essential for building a meaningful and supportive relationship with a Parent Mentor Volunteer (PMV). All our volunteers are committed to respecting both privacy and confidentiality. PMVs share their real names and their personal experiences and we expect their confidentiality to be respected by our Ometz client families as well.
Why do I need a diagnosis for my child in order to get support from Ometz?
Our organization is designed to provide a support system for parents. In order to provide the best possible support, your child must be under the care of a mental health professional. We do not diagnose or provide treatment for children with mental health issues. It is critical that parents seek professional advice when they have concerns about the mental health of their child. It would not be beneficial to a child if Ometz support were used as a substitute for professional care.
If I do not have a diagnosis for my child can Ometz help point me in the direction of a good provider?
Unfortunately, we do not offer a referral service at this time. We suggest speaking with your child’s pediatrician or contacting Relief (www.reliefhelp.org), a non-profit organization whose mission is to guide individuals in the Jewish community to the best mental health resources available.
What should I do if I need immediate help?
Unfortunately, we do not offer crisis support. If your child is experiencing a crisis, please call his/her psychiatrist or pediatrician immediately. If you are unable to reach a physician, please dial 911 or go to your local emergency room.
What qualifications do your Parent Mentor Volunteers (PMVs) have?
Do you provide them with any specific training?
All PMVs have first hand experience raising a child with a mental health diagnosis. We also require all PMVs to participate in a training workshop run by Martin Galla, LCSW. Mr. Galla is a licensed clinical social worker and the assistant director of the Yeshiva University Counseling Center. He serves as an advisor to Project Ometz and is assisted by Alissa Horn, Co-Founder of Project Ometz.
Can you match me with a Parent Mentor Volunteer (PMV) whose child has the same diagnosis as my child?
Many factors go into matching a parent with a PMV. A child’s diagnosis is one of the key factors, however, there are other important elements we take into consideration during the match process. Our goal is to select a PMV that will offer relatable advice and support.
Will my Parent Mentor Volunteer (PMV) be able to help me make decisions for my child?
Our PMVs are happy to discuss decisions clients are facing and offer insight based on their personal experience. However, every situation and child is unique. Input from a PMV can be beneficial, particularly with respect to community and school related choices but healthcare decisions should always be made in conjunction with your child’s psychiatrist and other mental health providers.
Do you have someone who can answer halachic questions as they relate to my child’s illness?
As with all halachic questions, you should ideally reach out to your personal Rabbi. We encourage you to be open and honest with him so he can offer halachic and personal support. However, we understand the sensitivities surrounding mental health issues and therefore Rabbi Zahtz is also available to discuss halachic questions. He can be reached directly at Rabbizahtz@bnaiyeshurun.org.
How can I become involved in Project Ometz?
Project Ometz is always looking for new Parent Mentor Volunteers (PMVs). If you think you may have the experience to be a parent mentor please fill out our intake form for PMVs.
Do you offer financial assistance?
Unfortunately, we do not offer financial assistance at this time.