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Therapy Thursday With Laurie Watter and Zvi Gluck

July 15, 2021
All Points North Lodge

Laurie Watter:

Hello, Instagram live. It's Laurie Watter from All Points North Lodge coming to you today again from New Jersey. I'm pretty excited about the guests that I have today, but first I want to let you know that All Points North Lodge will be a sponsor at ICAD next week.

Laurie Watter:

I hope that we'll get to see a lot of people out there on July 16th and 17th. It's going to be a virtual event this year. And when you register, let's see, if you do it through your registration costs, through APN, 20% of the registration would come back to us. APN Lodge is going to be donating those proceeds to the black mental health awareness organization, an organization that we've vetted and really want to support. They provide a lot of programming and prevention work. And for, for people that are underserved across the black and brown skin communities, we think that they do great work and we're excited about supporting them.

Laurie Watter:

So we hope to see a lot of you. This is the first time that this event is going to go virtual across the world and use the link in the APN Lodge Instagram bio if you want to register through us. So we're pretty excited about that.

Laurie Watter:

There'll be, I believe 70 CEU's available for those that are looking to get CEU's.

Laurie Watter:

So I'm just getting...See if my guest is on yet. Nope. I don't see him yet, but my guest has confirmed that he's going to be joining me. So we'll just wait until he gets on. But for many of you ICAD is coming out of London. We were hoping to be there live, but we're going to be there virtually. Our whole team is going to be there. Our new administrative staff is going to be there. So we hope to get to meet a lot of you.

Laurie Watter:

And somebody's saying I'm frozen. I don't want to be frozen, but also what's really exciting for us this year is that Ryan Suave, who is an amazing presenter, will be presenting at this conference and his topic is going to be, let's see what Ryan's doing.

Laurie Watter:

Let's see if I can come up with that... I know it's with trauma, I want to get the title for Ryan.

Laurie Watter:

Well, you can see it on our Instagram. Let's see if I have it here, on our Instagram live account, but he'll be talking about trauma and the virtual world, but I probably have the title a little bit off, but please join us so that you can catch him. He's a really strong speaker, and the fact that he's getting to present in this international conference is pretty terrific. And we're really so proud that he represents us.

Laurie Watter:

So let me see, this is, I know preppy's trying to join and Zvi Gluck is joining. So Zvi's just got a join me live. So if you see, let me see if... There he is. Okay.

Laurie Watter:

So he's just going to... When is Ryan going to be on? I'll have to check the schedule. And if you look at our Instagram account and go to APN, you'll be able to see when. So I see a little bit of Zvi there. I see his feet. There he is.

Zvi Gluck:

Yeah, I'm really not so great at these things, so you'll have to forgive me.

Laurie Watter:

No, no, no, no. I'm not so great at them either, but I know you're a great presenter.

Zvi Gluck:

Okay, if you say so.

Laurie Watter:

Yes. I know you're a great presenter. So, I'm so happy that you agreed to do this with me today.

Zvi Gluck:

No problem. You got me in a good spot, and I actually have a few minutes. So I'm going to-

Laurie Watter:

Yeah, Zvi Gluck is the CEO of Amudim. At All Points North Lodge, we do a tremendous amount of work with Amudim, we are so grateful for the clients that you share with us. But I want you to tell the world, what Amudim is about, how we can support you and how you got into this role.

Zvi Gluck:

Okay. So I guess that 15 minutes that we spoke about there, that you texted me is going to be closer to a few hours, which is fine. I have nothing else to do today.

Zvi Gluck:

How I got into the role I'm still trying to figure that part out. When I figure it out, I'll know.

Zvi Gluck:

When I was 19 years old, I actually had two friends that died back to back. One of them died of a drug related car accident. So he was high and got into an accident and died. And the other one actually committed suicide, leaving a suicide note about sexual abuse and trauma that he endured and that nobody believed him. So when that happened, I started volunteering at a local drop in center in Brooklyn called Our Place. Amazing place, I still deal with them all the time. And I started getting involved.

Zvi Gluck:

And then after a couple of years of volunteering there, I realized that a lot of the underlying issues, the kids would come from the center, that would be great. We'd give them whatever help they needed, guidance, and some therapeutic work, and whatever could be done. But the underlying issues were not being addressed as well as I felt that they could be in the big picture.

Laurie Watter:

Right. Right.

Zvi Gluck:

So I started focusing a little bit more on sexual abuse, and realizing that that was a major factor, not the factor, not the only factor. I hate when people pinpoint and they think they know all the answers, but it was certainly a major factor. And for sure one that was very much swept under the rug.

Laurie Watter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Zvi Gluck:

.So with the help of some friends, unfortunately one of them who passed away, and may rest in peace.

Laurie Watter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Zvi Gluck:

After many years of dealing with this ad hoc, out of my car, just doing my own thing, so to speak, we actually founded Amudim with the initial stated purpose to de-stigmatize abuse, addiction, and mental illness, so that people shouldn't be embarrassed to reach out for help when they needed it. That was really the initial purpose.

Zvi Gluck:

Very quickly, it turned into what we call case management, where people started reaching out for help. So we were doing awareness events, campaigns, and all of a sudden people would be like, "Okay, I need help for this. I need help for that." And we started providing comprehensive case management where we try to take a 30,000 foot view of not just the person that needs help, and you know this better than anybody, but of their entire surroundings. Try to create a healthy environment, not just for them specifically, but for their loved ones as well, so there can be a good supportive structure and a great support network to make sure that the help can be long lasting, I guess.

Laurie Watter:

Right. Right.

Zvi Gluck:

You know, regardless whether it's abuse, addiction, mental illness, suicidality, it really doesn't matter if people have a good support structure, they have what to live for.

Laurie Watter:

Right, right.

Zvi Gluck:

You know, and the example I sometimes say is, "Anybody can get sober, keeping them sober is the trick." So if you don't have a reason to live, then there's no purpose in going down the entire path. So we try to help take the 30,000 foot view of what's going on, and yes, I certainly agree with Manchester with the comment, I'm not so good at comments but I try to keep them in.

Laurie Watter:

Yeah, I see that too.

Zvi Gluck:

I have publicly stated that Manchester is a community that is in complete turmoil, and the amount of calls that we get out of Manchester are ridiculous. But unfortunately, the leadership in Manchester doesn't seem to agree. Very hard to affect change if you don't have either people on the ground who are willing to tell the leadership, "Go jump in the lake, we're going to do this anyway," or the leadership. Someone has to take control.

Zvi Gluck:

So, Trucker Mosey, if you want to DM me your info and you have an idea of somebody that's willing to grab the bull by the horns, I definitely agree that Manchester needs a lot of help.

Zvi Gluck:

But getting back, and we do service a lot of clients. We're probably servicing clients now, I think in over 25 countries around the world and in the United States, over 30 states and we take the 30,000 foot view of the full picture. And then we also take the micro view of the individual and making sure that everybody gets the help that they need.

Zvi Gluck:

So that's really the primary focus, is ensuring that anybody that comes our way gets the best possible care and treatment that's available to them. Then we have an entire division dedicated specifically towards awareness. You know, we've put out so far six PSA videos-

Laurie Watter:

Which are amazing. Whoever does those, they're so impactful.

Zvi Gluck:

I couldn't agree more. I am very proud of them. They're my shining moment we'll call it. Those videos are great. Those videos actually bring in a tremendous amount of case load, people calling us up after they see the videos.

Zvi Gluck:

And then we have an entire education component where we educate community leaders, anything from rabbis, pastors, bishops, to agencies, government agencies, school-based trainings, where we very much try to make awareness, a big part of the prevention module so that there's a way to avoid people meeting on, I say this proudly, I look forward to the day that Amudim can go out of business, but not because of lack of funds, but because of lack of need.

Laurie Watter:

Right. Right.

Zvi Gluck:

And that's my real hope.

Laurie Watter:

Yeah, and I have to say, I love it. I think you have amazing people. I think they have such heart. So I've grown to love and look so forward to working with you clients from the community. I have immense passion for them. I know that the director, she is a gem, but I haven't really haven't spoken to them every time and Amudim call comes in, his name comes up on my phone.

Laurie Watter:

So I think that you do have a terrific team. And what I've seen over the last few years is that there is less shame. We have a long way to go, but I feel like the people from the community that I've been working with are open, and willing, and want the help. And are able to express themselves and what they're struggling with, and asking for help. That's one of the reasons that working with the community has been so wonderful, is that I do the family support group on Monday night, and the families that I'm working with in the orthodox community, I get the parents, the siblings, the in-laws, anybody really soaking up information and supporting their loved ones who are struggling.

Laurie Watter:

So, I love the work that you do, I love the way your team cares about the people that they are working with, and they want them to get the right treatment, and not just that, but what's going to be best in the long run and brainstorming ideas and these programs, really wrapping really as much support as we can.

Zvi Gluck:

So I have to say that, usually I say that towards the end, but I will tell you that I am actually blessed with the most amazing team in the world. And I mean that from every aspect, from the clinical side, the financial office, the front end, the back end, the marketing, the people that manage our website. It doesn't matter. Everybody involved in Amudim, we're like one big family and everybody that's involved is really there just because they care. And that's really what it boils down to. Nobody's getting rich here. I wish they were. And the people that are here, are here because they truly care. We don't charge for any of our services. We're not a business. We're not here to make money. And it costs us a lot of money. I mean, our budget is well over $6 million a year, I'll tell it to you straight. And it's always tough, but we try to do the best we can.

Laurie Watter:

Right. Right.

Zvi Gluck:

To try to help.

Zvi Gluck:

I see that my nephew just joined. So I'll give a shout out to Mikhail and say, you got to scroll up to see one of the comments, about Manchester, and I made a public statement that, yes, it's a community that needs a lot of help, and I offered that person to actually direct message me so that we can deal with that. But I will say this, you're seeing a glimpse of it. And yes, overall, over the last 21 years, I can tell you that the community is certainly less shame oriented than they were. I will tell you that, but I'll read you an email that I just got just to show you the other side.

Laurie Watter:

Okay. Okay.

Zvi Gluck:

And I hate to say this, but I'm not going to say who sent it, I'm just going to read it anyway. Now let me start off by saying, I am proud of every one of our PSA's and I think that they do exactly what they need to do, but here's a great email.

Zvi Gluck:

"I'd like to start off by saying that Amudim is an incredible organization, saving many lives. I'm a big fan of the work that you've done, and I've donated in the past when I was navigating your website and saw your PSA videos and I was horrified by what I saw. Raising awareness is extremely important that I fully understand the need for it, but there are different ways of going about this task, and I don't think releasing such videos is the best way to do it. Particularly the sexual abuse video bothered me. This video was much too gruesome for the average person, even the alcohol and drug addiction videos way too much for me. It would make sense that after working for Amudim for a while, you can unfortunately become a little desensitized to such horrific causes..."

Zvi Gluck:

Cases, I'm sorry.

Zvi Gluck:

"...but for the rest of us, it is far too graphic. Honestly, I was a little turned off after seeing your videos and it will probably affect my future donating plans. I ask you from the bottom of my heart to please take those videos off and refrain from posting such videos in the future. Again, I'm a big fan of what you do and thank you for your valuable work."

Zvi Gluck:

So I tell this person, "God bless you. I appreciate whatever money you've given Amudim. And by all means, we'd love to take money more, but that means I've got to stop putting out videos that are saving lives on a literally daily basis. That's the way it is."

Zvi Gluck:

As a matter of fact, where can you see our videos? Amudim.org and just go to the media section and look for the PSA videos. We'll put that in the comments. I'll see if I can figure that out over here. Again, I'm not so good at this.

Laurie Watter:

Yeah. Yep.

Zvi Gluck:

And I get flack all the time and you know what? I don't mind. We're here to save lives. That's what we're here to do. We're not here to play games. We're not here to sugarcoat anything. We say it the way it is. Every single one of our videos that we've ever done are always done in conjunction with our clinical advisory board. They are always very much involved in it. We don't make any decisions just on our own.

Laurie Watter:

Right. Right.

Zvi Gluck:

And they're important. And I will tell you that I've received messages from people two years after a video was produced, where somebody sent us a message saying, "By the way, thank you so, so much, your video saved my life because after seeing it, I realized I wasn't alone and I went to get the help that I needed."

Zvi Gluck:

So this is a situation where it wasn't even like they came to Amudim for help. It wasn't like they came, reached out to us. Just the video alone. The awareness alone is what was extremely important.

Laurie Watter:

Right. Right.

Zvi Gluck:

You know what? We do what we got to do.

Laurie Watter:

Right. Thank you Keith, for linking on IGTV, but I would also say, if this, the video, is giving that person a reaction like that, the video is doing its job.

Zvi Gluck:

Absolutely.

Every video that we put out, I got to tell you, that what you're seeing is the watered down version. And I mean that.

Laurie Watter:

Right.

Zvi Gluck:

If you would see the first cuts and as things are put out on our PSA videos, again, my philosophy is hit them hard. Say it the way it is. You know, there's no more hiding it under the rug. There's no more making believe it doesn't exist. Addiction is in every community. Sexual abuse is in every community. Mental health related issues is in every community. Domestic violence is in every community.

Zvi Gluck:

And the truth is, at Amudim, we pride ourselves on partnering with amazing organizations, both in the nonprofit sector and in the for-profit sector, where we can get people the best help that they need, and whether it's getting them the proper clinical support or the emotional support or the education materials, it doesn't matter. That's what we're here to do. So we're just going to keep doing it. And it's great that we have amazing relationships with facilities such as yours, where we do have great rapport and the staff do speak to you and your team almost every single day. And we know that.

Zvi Gluck:

And I say this, I say this proudly, we probably enjoy those relationships with maybe 40, 50 facilities nationwide. That's, and I mean that not in a negative to any one thing, I always tell people, they're like, "Oh, how does your staff decide which facility someone goes to?" I said, "Listen, there's a bunch of variables." You know?

Zvi Gluck:

And I just got a call today where somebody says to me, "I want to send my loved one to this and this place." And I'm like, "Okay, first of all, I don't deal with cases, so I got to transfer to one of my staff, but why that place?" "Oh, because my friend's son went there and it saved his life." And I'm like, "Well, did anybody assess if that's the same issue that your son is having? Is that the same issue?"

Zvi Gluck:

You know, so there's... People don't realize this, that when a decision is made to send someone to a specific treatment facility, there is so much that goes into it. And I say this to you straight, my job is not to make your bosses rich. My job is to help those that need help. And if APN is an option that is going to work and be beneficial, then that's where we send them to, because that's what's right for the client. And that's really the goal. And that is what goes into it.

Zvi Gluck:

So there's a tremendous amount of research that, for example, and you'll know this better than anybody, right? I say this, and you'll appreciate it. I can have five people, 37 year old males, all of them attorneys, all of them working in the same firm, all of them married with three kids, living in the same neighborhood, driving the same cars and attending the same social scenes. All five of them will be addicts and there'll be addicted to the same substance. And it is possible that each of them will need to go to a different facility.

Laurie Watter:

Right.

Zvi Gluck:

People say to me, "What does that mean?" And I'm like, "Well, that means that if it's a medical based issue, then they want to go someplace medical based. If it's trauma based, you want to be trauma based." There's so many variables. And the truth is yes, you guys happen to do an amazing job on many of them, and we're appreciative of that. The trauma work in addition to the addiction work, and the family work, and that's all great and it's important, but that's what it is. And that's what we're here for. And the truth is, and I say this really, my staff makes me look good. That's what it boils down to.

Zvi Gluck:

I am a glorified fundraiser for lack of a better word. I just got to make sure that we have enough money to keep operating, but without them, none of this would be happening.

Laurie Watter:

Right. Right.

Zvi Gluck:

When we have a partner such as you, who are workable, and we deal with, and help us navigate the systems. You know, we also not have the same success. So this is really a relationship and it's an industry and it's in a world of its own. And especially now we're seeing much greater relapse rates as a result of the COVID pandemic. We're seeing a lot more mental health issues as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Laurie Watter:

Right.

Zvi Gluck:

Our caseload is over 130% increased compared to where we were last year this time. Our funder component is about cut by about 50%. Go do the math.

Laurie Watter:

Right, right. Yeah. I think that the whole COVID pandemic hit the Jewish community really, really hard. I know that people are struggling with all kinds of issues, but what I would say to you is, I don't want to say that I'm going to make my bosses rich either, but I also want to say that as much as I love program that I work for, the right program for the individual that's coming our way. And I would say that. Of course we want people to come to All Points North, I think it's a great program, but it's not a good program for everybody. We do want to get the appropriate care in the appropriate program, and I'm happy that you pointed that out.

Laurie Watter:

I also was asked the therapeutic difference between inpatient facilities, and we could probably do that as another topic.

Zvi Gluck:

Right, but the problem is, I have to answer it a little bit.

Laurie Watter:

Yeah.

Zvi Gluck:

Because it's my nephew who happens to be a clinician.

Laurie Watter:

Okay.

Zvi Gluck:

So I have to at least give him that courtesy.

Laurie Watter:

Perfect.

Zvi Gluck:

The simple answer is, that... One second, the simple answer is as follows. Obviously, if somebody can get the... If somebody can get the help that they truly need in a local community-based program, where they can deal with their underlying issues and triggers with their family and friends close by, that's always great. Okay? That's always amazing. And I mean that, okay?

Zvi Gluck:

However, that's not always the case. And in sometimes, somebody getting away for a little bit is actually very beneficial. It gives people a little bit of a breather with a lot that's going on. And those are some of the things that, when I was referring to, is that we have to weigh the pros and cons of what treatment modalities are going to be used for any person that reaches out to Amudim for help.

Zvi Gluck:

We will do whatever we can to make sure they're getting the proper help that's best for them. So, and that's why I always say, when people say to me, "Oh, anybody with addiction has to go to this place and anybody with that has to go to that place." And I'm like, "Wow, that would make my life a lot easier." I mean, I can even say it now. And you know this because you've dealt with us on discharge planning many times. How many custom IOP programs are we quote unquote, creating, where somebody's coming in, and instead of them just going to an IOP we're setting up, "Okay, you're going this day to this therapist, this day to that psychiatrist, this day to this group," why, because for this person, all of those different pieces is what's important.

Laurie Watter:

Right. Right.

Zvi Gluck:

And the truth is, you guys, and I say this very proudly. And as a general rule, you should know, I never ever get involved, and you know, this like anybody else does, I moved them, doesn't allow any facilities for profit or non-profit to sponsor any of our events or to donate money to us. You know, we're very strict about that because we like to make sure that we're making the right decision for the right client.

Laurie Watter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Zvi Gluck:

But I do have to give credit where credit is due and say that your staff is truly amazing when it comes to working with our case managers and making sure that there's a continuum of care, continued follow up, making sure that we get the updates on a weekly basis of how people are doing. Case management is very different than referrals. It's very easy to say to somebody, "Here, go there."

Laurie Watter:

Right. Right.

Zvi Gluck:

Very easy. But managing them and making sure that they're getting the proper treatment and making sure that there's the proper aftercare and the proper follow-up, that is what is key. And I have to say a big, thank you both to you and to Abe and to everybody involved. I mean, the clinical team, just really stepping up and doing the right thing whenever you guys can. And that's greatly appreciated by all of us.

Laurie Watter:

Thank you for that, because I agree. I think our clinical staff is second to none, and that they really do have the client's interest at heart. And why I started working for them. But I do also want to be sure that you tell people that are interested in donating, where can they donate?

Zvi Gluck:

Oh, we appreciate that. People can always donate at www dot Amudim dot org, forward slash donate. And I thank you for asking, and no amount is too small, no amount is too large. You know, people that want to help us continue what we're doing, we are always happy to accept the money and we can tell you that we are very proud of our transparency.

Zvi Gluck:

We have our audited financials, in addition to our R990's, proudly displayed on our website. So we're very open to that. We believe that people should know where their money is going to.

Laurie Watter:

Right. Right.

Zvi Gluck:

And I thank you for asking that question. I appreciate that.

Laurie Watter:

You know, and I can also say, from years of working with Amudim, your money is going to a good, absolutely, 100%. These are families that are struggling, that have been struggling for years, or have been in multiple programs, still trying to get the help that they need. I'm so happy that we get to work with you. I love your organization. I love your team, and I'm honored that you took the time to today to do this with me.

Zvi Gluck:

The feeling is very, very mutual and I would very much like to mention that... I would like to mention, there's a person that posted, I'm trying to see who it was, he asked how he can get in touch with me.

Laurie Watter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Zvi Gluck:

Trucker Mosey.

Laurie Watter:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Zvi Gluck:

I don't know if you're still on or not, but if you want to direct message me, please, by all means, I am more than happy to have a discussion with you. So please reach out. If you're still watching, then please send me a message and put your email in there and I will gladly communicate.

Laurie Watter:

And then we'll be replaying this, so maybe you could catch him through that.

Zvi Gluck:

Excellent. Thank you so, so much. I really appreciate this. And you know, let's do this again sometime.

Laurie Watter:

I would love to do that. Thank you. Take care.

Zvi Gluck:

You got it, take care, all the best.

Laurie Watter:

Bye.

Zvi Gluck:

Take care, bye.

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