Losing a close family member is an excruciating experience, especially for a child. Losing a sibling in a terrorist attack can feel like they children are losing a part of themselves as well. A stable family unit is often the foundation of their identity and security, and losing that leaves an enormous hole in their lives. The emotional wounds can last a lifetime.
The children often feel “different” or “alone” because their friends no longer know how to relate to them. And they no longer have the older brother to emulate, the younger sister to boss around, or the sensitive parent to console them after a rough day of school.
OneFamily meets the needs of these bereaved youth, ages 8-24 though our Youth Division. We offer a multitude of psychological, educational and social services geared toward the well-being of children who have suffered such a traumatic loss.
Through youth camps on Chanukah, during the summer, as well as holiday retreats, leisure activities, and social events, the children have the opportunity to identify with others who have suffered a similar loss. Knowing they are not alone to cope with their pain and that others around them understand the trauma they experienced allows them to start rebuilding their personal identity and feel part of a whole – something that was taken from them in their bereavement.
The children can form strong bonds with other bereaved children. These friendships are particularly powerful and could last a lifetime.
Young Adults aged 24-39 who have been harmed by terrorism have unique needs.
This is the age when people are stepping into the world and beginning their independent lives. Terror victims – who are coping with the tremendous anguish of bereavement while filling new roles in life – are also engaged in a process of rehabilitation.
The emotional strains compound the economic realities that they face as they embark on career and life choices, academic or professional study, moving out on their own, and building significant lifetime relationships.
It is frequently the case that following such tragedy, young adults have difficulties making significant decisions, or are unable to devote the proper attention and concentration to any academic, professional, social or family framework. When young adults find themselves unable to function fully in their surroundings, they face the risk of falling into a complete functional breakdown.
OneFamily’s Young Adults Division helps terror victims in this age range build strong personal and group connections with others like them, and to create a safe and protected space for them to regain their ability to function.
The Young Adults Division operates on a number of therapeutic levels, including personal counseling, emotional therapy, support groups, guidance in education, direction in choosing a profession and achieving their professional goals, and social programs.
Group members feel they can all talk freely about their experiences and thoughts with each other. The members of the group gain therapeutic benefits by simply being together and understanding each other, having shared similar loss in a way that other people cannot truly understand.
The friendships that develop enable victims to give strength to each other and to be strengthened themselves, creating supportive and meaningful interactions and friendships like no others.