Mental Health Awareness Shabbat 2022
The sixth annual Jami Mental Health Awareness Shabbat (MHAS) last weekend saw hundreds of events take place in shuls, schools and organisations across the country. These ranged from interactive education sessions and virtual panel events to dedicated Kabbalat Shabbat services and personal testimonies.
Laurie Rackind, Chief Executive at Jami, said:
” I am so proud to be part of a community that embraces the opportunity to challenge stigma, raise awareness and promote conversations around mental health. Living in this climate of constant uncertainty, it is more important than ever to have open conversations about mental health and encourage people to get help when they need it.”
The MHAS was held on 7-8 January, coinciding with Shabbat “Bo” during which the weekly Torah portion about the plague of Darkness is read, the description of which has particular resonance with mental illness. This year’s theme was ‘Mental Health in a Changing World’. Recent global crises, including the threat of climate change and living through a pandemic, has impacted on all our mental health and led to increased feelings of anxiety and stress for many people. For those already living with mental illness or caring for someone with mental health problems, the past year has been tougher than ever.
Over 200 organisations marked this special Shabbat with events including United Synagogue’s dedicated Kabbalat Shabbat on theUS.TV; publishing of collected divrei Torah and thoughts from Rabbonim and cantors of the Movement of Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism by The Honeycomb Project; and Masorti’s Senior Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg in conversation with Jami chief executive Laurie Rackind at a special Kabbalat Shabbat Zoom.
Jami delivered a programme of events including sessions for young adults on climate change and mental health; men and mental health; impact of increased reliance on digital technology on wellbeing; and youth mental health in collaboration with Beyond.
RSY-Netzer marked the Shabbat with a memorial tea and havdallah in memory of Zach Klement, an important member of RSY-Netzer and mental wellbeing advocate; while Maccabi GB continued to support Jami’s MHAS through the “One Minute for Mental Health” initiative, whereby players paused for one minute before kick-off to think about how to openly encourage conversation around mental health. Ashley Lerner, CEO of Maccabi GB shared, “Highlighting positive mental health is incredibly important and we are pleased that through our Affiliated Football Leagues, we could assist reaching as wide an audience as possible”.
Save the date now for next year’s MHAS, 27-28 January 2023
How to get help
If you need support or are supporting someone who needs help, visit https://jamiuk.org/get-support/ or contact 020 8458 2223
If you are struggling to cope or need immediate help, contact Shout’s 24/7 crisis text service. Text Jami to 85258 for free, confidential support.
For free, safe and confidential online counselling and emotional wellbeing services for adults, contact Jami Qwell at https://www.qwell.io/jami