Our community needs us to be there for them, please be there for us this Rosh Hashanah
Essential mental health support from Jami,
now available 24/7
Rosh Hashanah 2020
Shoshana and Michael have been married for over 30 years. On meeting them, they appear to be outgoing and sociable with a full and happy family life.
However, when Michael feels really low, he struggles to step out of the house and can’t face the world. Unable to accept the help he needs leaves Michael more isolated, with Shoshana his only connection to the outside world. These dark periods can last for days or sometimes weeks, until Michael eventually re-emerges.
“It’s heart breaking when your husband won’t accept help. Every day I wore a mask while underneath I was crumbling” – Shoshana
During the Covid pandemic Shoshana witnessed her husband becoming increasingly anxious and reluctant to speak to family and friends. She made excuses for him as to why he wasn’t answering his phone or replying to WhatsApp messages with his usual good humour. The increased worry and burden began affecting Shoshana’s sleep and focus.
With the country in lockdown, Shoshana contacted Jami, taking the first step in addressing both their needs for professional support. Through the Carers and Family Support Service she was introduced to a Jami social worker and to others experiencing similar situations. The guidance and support from both made a significant impact on Shoshana’s own wellbeing and on Jami’s advice she suggested to Michael that he contact Jami Qwell.
Jami Qwell is a free and anonymous online counselling service recently commissioned by Jami to provide mental health support to all Jewish adults.
Being able to talk to a trained counsellor anonymously removed some of Michael’s earlier embarrassment and allowed him to begin to understand his feelings. “Through the online community I was able to ‘talk’ to other people and learn from their experiences as well as to a qualified counsellor. I realised I wasn’t unique in having bouts of depression, particularly during lockdown, and that getting professional help is something I should have done a long time ago.”
With 1:1 support, Michael now has a step-by-step plan to help him leave the house for the first time since March, and is working on a longer term strategy to manage his depression in the future. Shoshana is hopeful that as lockdown continues to lift, Rosh Hashanah really does bring a happy and healthy new year.