Congregation Or Hadash Sponsors Mental Wellness Initiative
Synagogue presents two panels to break the stigma of mental health issues for youth and adults.
Congregation Or Hadash, under the guidance of members Ellyn Jeager and Devi Knapp, is sponsoring a Mental-Wellness Initiative, to help the Atlanta community understand the fragility and importance of mental health and wellness.
“One in five children and one in four adults face mental health problems,” says Knapp, a parent who blogs about her own experiences with depression. “When you consider those numbers,” Knapp adds, “There’s not a single person you know whose life isn’t touched in some way.” At her recent Bat Mitzvah, Knapp’s daughter gave a Dvar Torah based on this theme and performed a service project benefitting the Georgia Parent Support Network.
On Sunday, March 26, from 10:30 to 12 noon, Or Hadash will tackle the difficult issues of Mental Wellness for Children and Youth. The panelists, Gene Brody PhD, Abby Friedman PhD, and Betsy Gard PhD, will discuss will discuss the realities faced by children, youth, and their caregivers.
“The challenges facing parents who are concerned with their children’s behavior are complicated by the fact that all children act out,” says Ellyn Jeager, who has worked with the Mental Health Association and Georgia advocacy groups. “How do they know when to seek help?” Jeager hopes that the panels clarify how people can get preventative help. “We encourage people to learn about the issues, face the issues, and ask questions.”
A follow-up panel focusing on Adult Mental Wellness is scheduled at the synagogue for Sunday, May 7 from 10:30 am to 12 noon. The speakers, Howard Mazier MD, Leah Stock-Landis PhD, and Sharon Shatil, PhD, will focus on wellness issues confronting adults of all ages.
The program’s mission is similar to author and poet Merl Feld’s summation of compassionate care: “Healing is a process that concerns not only the physical aspect of our reality, but our mental, emotional, and spiritual states as well…This realization is important not only for the person who is ill, but for caregivers as well, for they should know that they can be a source not only of cure but more especially of healing.”
Or Hadash Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz emphasizes the importance of this mission to the synagogue: “At Or Hadash, we share tears in difficult moments, and we do it as an extended family….”
About Or Hadash: (http://www.or-hadash.org/). Or Hadash is an egalitarian, conservative congregation dedicated to providing a warm and welcoming Jewish environment in which to build spiritual and social connections through prayer, learning, music, and Tikkun Olam. We believe that a caring community is a holy community.
Organized by: Erica Hruby
Location: 7460 Trowbridge Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328 United States
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