REAL - Mental Health Initiative

Striving to end the stigma of mental illness in our Jewish community

The Mental Health Initiative has influenced the beginning of many changes in our congregation over the past year. People are coming forward and participating in activities, sharing their personal experiences, and meeting to address and improve our caring community. To assist us with this work, we have hired a Mental Health Initiative (MHI) Program Coordinator, JoAnne Forman, to work with the clergy, staff and congregation to collaborate on ways to end the stigma and shame around the issue of mental illness.

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REAL Mental Health Initiative Celebration and Awards Dinner
Thursday, October 25, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, Social Hall
Please join us for an award and celebration dinner honoring all the congregants who have contributed to the founding and continued success of Congregation Rodef Sholom’s REAL Mental Health Initiative.
 
The REAL Mental Health Initiative will receive the Each Mind Matters Impact Award, recognizing outstanding leadership, innovation and sustained impact of mental health awareness and promotion efforts. This award is sponsored by Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement and will be co-presented by Assemblyperson Mark Levine and Marin County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.
 
Click below to RSVP by October 18 - this special celebration dinner is free of charge, but space is limited.
RSVP 
 
Learn more about what’s happening in the year ahead and find out how you can be a part of this award-winning initiative to end the stigma of mental illness in our Jewish community:
  • For more information about the REAL initiative, scroll down.
  • For more information about Each Mind Matters, visit www.eachmindmatters.org.
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Click on each of the following to learn more about the ways in which JoAnne and her team are implementing this initative and how you can get involved:

Support Programs

Why Stigma Reduction Matters to All of Us

The mission of our REAL Mental Health Initiative is:  Striving to end the stigma and isolation of mental illness in our Jewish community.  Over the last year, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what stigma means and why it’s so important that we identify and work to end it.

Approximately 1 in 5 people experiences a mental illness in a given year. Stop and think about what that means: How many people are in your family, or your group of friends? Chances are you, or someone you care about, has faced a mental health challenge this year. In our congregation of nearly 2,000 adults, statistically almost 400 of our fellow community members are likely affected by a mental health issue.

What we know from research is that with treatment and support, 70-90% of people with mental health challenges report an improved quality of life. But stigma makes it difficult for people to reach out for that support; leading to an increased chance of school dropout, difficulty finding or keeping employment, or feelings of isolation and reluctance to engage fully with our religious and spiritual community.

When Rabbi Stacy Friedman gave her 2014 Kol Nidre sermon about mental health, she made a promise that Rodef Sholom would “work to create a safer place for more people to come out from behind the shadows and find the support and care they need to go on with their lives.” Rabbi Friedman also forged the way for Rodef Sholom to start having open and honest conversations about mental health and mental illness. These are the conversations that break down barriers, help family and friends learn how to support each other, and encourage community members to reach out to others.

Stigma reduction happens when we all come together to fight against it - whether we suffer from mental illness, love someone who does, or simply care about being an ally to the cause. By uniting together to reduce the stigma of mental illness we are creating change - strengthening our community, changing the system, and helping to make Rodef Sholom a safe place where everyone - no matter what - feels welcome and comfortable.

To get involved in the Mental Health Initiative or for more information, please contact me at [email protected] or 415.479.3441 x3011.

JoAnne Forman
Mental Health Initiative Program Coordinator

 

 

The REAL Mental Health Initiative at Rodef Sholom is supported by the Lazlo N. Tauber Family Foundation