An elderly woman. [illustrative].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The number of people calling ERAN for free emotional first aid over the phone, which operates with trained volunteers at *1201 around the clock, has risen significantly in recent weeks.
“Seder night and the days of Passover put us before a mirror, which reflects our family and social relations. It is not always pleasant to look from up close,” said Dr. Shiri Daniels, ERAN’s national professional director. “People who feel severe loneliness around the holiday may be overwhelmed by stress over their situation,” she explained.
ERAN director-general David Koren said that its volunteers, working out of 12 branches around the country, are boosted before and during Passover. “We are prepared for a 20 percent increase in calls, for a total of some 4,000 phone calls and queries via our website (www.eran.co.il
Passover is a family holiday when relatives from around the country and the world tend to get together, have a Seder and spend time together, said Daniels.
“Loneliness does not depend on number of interpersonal contacts but their quality. Sometimes there is anger and painful memories that make it difficult for us to enjoy the holiday.”
ERAN last year received some 180,000 anonymous calls and queries from the public, including 800 people who threatened to commit suicide and hundreds of people suffering from anxiety and thousands involving violence against children and the elderly.