Netivah, an Israeli youth ministry based in Netanya, has launched a hotline for troubled Messianic teenagers, encouraging them to reach out for help if something is troubling them.
“We all go through difficult times and we don’t always know who to talk to. But it is not good to keep it inside,” Netivah wrote in a message to the youth on their mailing list. “It is important for you to know that there is someone you can talk to, share your problems with, get advice from and receive help. ‘Eitan,’ the Messianic hotline, is here for you. You can turn to us at any time with any subject. Contact us through phone calls, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Telegram, or chat with us anonymously on our website. If we can’t answer right away, we guarantee that someone will be in touch with you within 48 hours.”
Netivah is up front that it is Messianic and that its advice for teens comes from that perspective.
The organization also emphasizes that its support is not a replacement for professional therapy.
“Our goal is to support, advice and direct you. If needed, we will help you receive long-term professional help,” the organization said. “It is completely anonymous. We will not involve your parents or congregation without your permission, except in specific cases where we cannot promise confidentiality. Your details will, however, be shared within the team that works at Eitan to give you the best help possible.”
“We cannot promise confidentiality in the following cases: If we feel you are in immediate danger, if we think you are about to commit a crime or hurt someone else, or if we find out that your parents or people in leadership positions are hurting or abusing you. In those cases we might be obligated to involve the police. We will however do everything we can to do this with your best interests in mind.”
Testimonies of Messianic youth who have struggled with eating disorders, same-sex attraction and sexual abuse can be found on the website. In all of those cases, having someone from the outside to talk to made all the difference. The website also provides links to articles about the lies of the world as opposed to biblical truth regarding abandonment and bitterness, sexual abuse, same-sex attraction and abortion.
The hotline manager, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the team decided to start this service because while teenagers struggle with many issues, they don’t always feel they have anyone to speak with about their trials. Many times, they are embarrassed to discuss these issues with the people closest to them.
“We wanted to start a new communication channel, because it is so important that they don’t deal with this alone,” the manager said. “It is an anonymous service, but we keep in touch with professionals who are believers ready to follow up contact with them, if they agree to.”
She also stressed that they strongly believe in reconnecting youth to their families, youth groups and congregations.
During the shutdowns implemented throughout Israel due to the coronavirus, Netivah remains available for teens who need support whether related or not to those specific challenges.