The Mental Health Awareness Shabbat (MHAS) aims to raise the profile of mental health in the Jewish Community. It is an opportunity to encourage people of all ages to be more in touch with their own mental health and wellbeing, and to raise awareness of mental health and mental illness in the local and wider community.
MHAS falls annually on the Shabbat when the weekly Torah portion of “Bo” is read, which tells about the Plague of Darkness. The description of the plague of darkness has particular resonance with mental illness – the darkness was so intense that people couldn’t move from their position. This has parallels with descriptions of mental illness.
The third Mental Health Awareness Shabbat in 2019 saw over 120 synagogues, student and youth groups across the full range of Jewish religious affiliation throughout the UK taking part.
There are many ways that you, your synagogue, school, student and youth group can get involved.