A Jewish charity which cares for gravely ill children has extended its services to include serious mental health conditions.
Camp Simcha made the announcement this week following a successful pilot scheme during the pandemic.
Its Chief Executive Neville Goldschneider said: “Throughout the past 18 months we have worked collaboratively” with communal organisations such as the Jewish Leadership Council, JAMI, Norwood and Noa Girls, to ease pressures on mental health provision in the last two years.
“Families we have supported via the pilot project particularly referenced the huge benefits of services such as our Family Liaison Officer support; sibling art sessions and group; volunteers for siblings, as well as family support and respite activities.”
He added the charity is “expanding our team to meet this increased service need, beginning with a new mental health professional, clinical psychologist Lauren Topper, to oversee the service delivery and provide ongoing training and support.
“We will also continue to work collaboratively with all other organisations in order to avoid duplication and maximise impact.”
Talia Price, whose family was supported in pilot scheme, said Camp Simcha had helped during the difficult last year-and-a-half.
“My son has been in hospital for 2 years now. Prior to this, looking after him at home has had devastating effects on my husband’s health and mine.
“It was very tough to not be able to visit the hospital during lock-down but I am very grateful to Camp Simcha for the one-to-one with my family liaison officer, going for walks and meeting up outdoors. The family days outs and arts sessions for my younger son were a lifeline, plus the art and relaxation programmes for me were life-changing, a real emotional boost.”
JLC co-chief executive Claudia Mendoza said: “From the work we have been doing with organisations focusing on this issue, it is clear that there is a huge need for this service and we are delighted that Camp Simcha will bring its own unique form of whole family pastoral support to help so many families who need them.”
Families who have a child with a serious mental health condition with a significant impact on the family, are eligible for the scheme.
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