Following an increase in demand for mental health support within the community, Jami is launching a new campaign to improve understanding of mental health and to highlight how its services can help those who are adversely affected.
As the leading charity supporting mental health in the Jewish community, Jami’s Understand Mental Health multimedia campaign will explain some of the symptoms of mental illness; the impact on people struggling with mental health told through real-life experiences; and the ways in which Jami supports people to manage their mental health.
Increasing the community’s understanding of mental health is the next step for Jami after years of raising awareness about mental health and its impact on people’s lives, through events such as the Jami Mental Health Awareness Shabbat launched. And Jami’s latest campaign couldn’t be timelier considering the rising number of people seeking the charity’s support.
As Laurie Rackind, Jami’s chief executive, explains:
“Many of us have become much more aware of our own mental health and its importance to our overall wellbeing, but we need to know that at any given time at least 25 per cent of us are actively dealing with a mental health problem. Developing our understanding about mental distress and the impact it has, will enable us to better recognise how our family, friends or colleagues may be feeling and make ourselves available to listen and support them in whichever ways we can.”
Over the past two-and-a-quarter years, Jami has seen a 55 per cent increase in the hours of support delivered in response to the Covid crisis, a trebling in demand for help from its Carer and Family Support service, and a doubling of requests for support from young adults. As a result, Jami’s lifesaving services have had to expand and adapt to meet the growing needs of the community.
To this end, Jami is expanding its Head Room Café in Golders Green, which provides informal and inclusive mental health support on the high street. The Café’s free, peer-led programme of events aims to reduce social isolation and build personal and communal wellbeing by providing the chance for people to build relationships, take part in meaningful conversations and gain mutual support. Through the expansion into its neighbouring premises, Jami will be able to broaden its programme of events further and deliver services to more people in an accessible, supportive and relaxed space.
In response to the rise in children with mental health problems – which saw an increase of 77 per cent of children aged under 18 needing care for issues ranging from self-harm to eating disorders between April and October 2021 compared to the same period in 2019* – and the lack of available mental health services for them, Jami launched its pilot Children and Young Person’s (CYP) service in March 2022. Using a multi-skilled team, consisting of social workers, mental health practitioners, a mental health support worker and a young people’s education officer, Jami’s CYP service is providing tailored one-to-one support based on each young person’s individual needs.
To fund Jami’s CYP and other mental health services, Jami launched its first-ever crowdfunding campaign, See Me, See Mental Health, in January 2022, raising £1.24 million; a sure sign of how much the community has come to recognise the impact of mental illness and the need to ensure that professional support is available. Nevertheless, Jami’s newest campaign aims to reinforce this message further.