“Quite busy!” is the best way to describe activity on the phones and calendars of The SAFE Foundation’s Director of Project SAFE, Director of School Programs, and the Director of Parent Programs. Under Ike Dweck, CASAC, CPGC, the Founder and Director of SAFE, all departments have been bringing vital awareness on a range of topics to community students and parents through school and parent programs.
December 1st: Addiction therapists from SAFE, Sean Kensing, CASAC-G, and Laura Mizrahi, LMHC, opened a conversation about addiction with the 8th-grade boys of Magen David Yeshivah. They explained how drug use can progress from recreational use to abuse and dependence. The counselors also illustrated how one would reach out for confidential help, should there be a need.
SAFE’s Director of School Programs Yehudah Alcabes, LMSW, CASAC said the exchange opened the students’ minds to thinking about coping with stress, dealing with problems, and also taught them to recognize the signs of addiction before it is too late.”
Mr. Kensing said, “We want to make clear that SAFE is here to serve them; that no one should be afraid to ask for help. We hope that speaking directly to young people in schools will increase the odds that if they experience negative consequences from addictive behaviors, they’ll know there is a place to get help right here in the community.”
Mrs. Mizrahi said, “We wanted to attach real faces to SAFE. If we’ve made it more comfortable for one person in need to reach out for help, we’ve made a difference.”
On Dec 17th Ike Dweck visited the 7th-grade boys at The Yeshivah of Flatbush to talk about the dangers of Gambling. Ike said, “This is the age when boys begin to become curious about gambling. I receive so many calls each week from concerned parents worrying about their children’s involvement in fantasy sports. We want our youth to know there are other ways to be challenged and that it is wiser to invest their time rather than put themselves at risk to a very dangerous addiction.”
On Dec 30th Mr. Alcabes joined SAFE’s Outreach Coordinator Abe Chera to speak to the entire 11th-grade of The Yeshivah of Flatbush. They, like the other addiction therapists, highlighted the warning signs of addiction and provided a glimpse of what SAFE does regarding outreach and clinical work. Mr. Chera illustrated how SAFE helps those who don’t know how to take the first step toward healing.
On Dec 29th, Mr. Alcabes presented at Career Class at Magen David Yeshivah for ninth graders. He spoke about the decision to commit to a career of helping others and described the various branches of social work. Mr. Alcabes also illustrated the nuances of addiction counseling.
On Jan 11th Dalia Abbott, LMSW, RD, spoke to the 5th-grade boys and girls of The Yeshivah of Flatbush about building a healthy body image. She introduced new vocabulary and concepts to the students. At one point, she led this chant, “Perfect people aren’t real! Real people aren’t perfect!”
SAFE Parent Programs:
On Dec 1st Chedvi Perr, LCSW, SAFE Teacher spoke to an intimate gathering in the home of Linda and Steven Sasson. The topic was communicating with your child. Said one attendee, “I learned things that I can use when I communicate with anyone!”
Director of Parent Programs Ariel Cohen stated, “These gatherings are very effective because parents feel like they are enjoying a comfortable, productive night out with their friends as they learn how to improve their parenting techniques.”
On January 12th Life Coach Alice Chera, CPCC, ACC spoke in the home of Esther and Jack Sabbagh about how to raise a child with individuality. An attending parent said, “It was nice to see so many parents so engaged while listening to Alice’s five steps to nurturing each child’s unique individuality.”
Said Director of Project SAFE Yossi Sirote, LCSW, “The SAFE Foundation has become a resource for the community in so many different aspects.”
With all this educational outreach, SAFE hopes to raise awareness, strengthen prevention skills, and effect real change in the next generation.