In 2001 Rabbi Sendy Ornstein recognized a void in the area of mental health. In the process of assisting people with their medical needs, he came across many individuals in need of care who struggled to navigate the mental health world. His idea was simple; to create an organization where people can ask for references to psychiatrists and psychologists, similar to what was already being done in the medical world.
He reached out to a number of senior mental health professionals who had been working within the frum community for many years to float the idea. The response he received was overwhelmingly negative. He was told that in our community, no one would use such an organization. Undeterred, he went ahead and started Relief. In 2003, Rabbi Binyomin Babad joined the staff, and that year, Relief assisted over 500 people. In the following year, that number doubled. A need was filled and the response was overwhelming.
Since 2001, Relief has provided services to over 100,000 individuals. The rate of incoming new cases has accelerated every year we’ve been in operation, with over 10,000 new cases in the past year alone. We have opened nine local branches in four countries, on three continents. Our database includes over 3,000 professionals from a wide range of disciplines, as well as numerous treatment facilities and organizations all over the world.