With psychological well being coming to the forefront of social points propelled by the coronavirus pandemic, two Jewish organizations — the Marion & Aaron Gural JCC and Nafshenu Alenu — are partnering to current 13 packages to discover these points with a give attention to the Orthodox Jewish group.
The Cedarhurst-based JCC has run issue-oriented packages for years, starting from a Holocaust survivors group to bereavement. Nafshenu Alenu, based by Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Septimus and Stuart Katz, is a program that promotes psychological well-being. Septimus is the senior rabbi at Younger Israel of North Woodmere, and Katz, a psychological well being advocate, served as president of the synagogue twice. The Hebrew expression “nafshenu alenu” interprets to “spirits united.”
“There’s a number of assets for bodily sickness, and other people discuss psychological sickness, however they discuss it very hush-hush quietly,” Katz stated. “We are attempting to alter that by means of instructional packages.”
As a volunteer psychological well being first assist teacher, Katz is concerned with international organizations in addition to native teams and establishments such because the 5 Cities Neighborhood Council, the Hebrew Academy of the 5 Cities and Rockaway and the Jewish Neighborhood Relations Council of Lengthy Island. Septimus has coaching in treating life challenges and trauma.
In collaboration with the Gural JCC, the pair launched the tutorial program on Nov. 29 at Younger Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst. The packages will function visitor audio system and tackle matters together with nervousness, consuming issues, despair, home abuse, suicide and substance abuse. The second program, specializing in Self-Definition, was on Dec. 6 at Congregation Beth Sholom with Brian Cuban.
“Recognizing psychological well being is for everybody, and never only for individuals who battle with psychological well being prognosis,” Septimus stated. “This instructional initiative is an effective way of beginning that. It’s a begin of an extended journey.”
The inaugural speaker was Zak Williams, a worldwide psychological well being advocate and speaker, and the son of the late comic and actor Robin Williams. The elder Williams died by suicide in 2014, and was stated to have struggled with despair.
The preliminary program started with a dialogue of psychological well-being and group. Zak Williams’s psychological well being challenges started not after the loss of life of his father, however as a 12-year-old boy, after a cousin and shut pal died by suicide at 13.
“I didn’t know easy methods to handle it,” Williams stated. “I didn’t know who to speak to. I didn’t know easy methods to join with my household throughout this main subject.”
A number of years later, Williams was traumatized when, in the course of the first week of his freshman 12 months at New York College, the World Commerce Heart was attacked. These challenges, coupled with new issues similar to his alcohol use, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive dysfunction and suicidal ideas, set Williams on a darkish path. After his father’s loss of life, he was identified with post-traumatic stress dysfunction.
However, Williams stated, he has reworked his trauma into one thing that’s helpful for sharing: his journey from struggling to having a objective. “I must share my story, and I want to grasp why our psychological well being system features the best way that it does,” he stated, questioning the disparities in care he sees when he speaks in communities across the nation. “Why in some communities there are not any psychologists in any respect, and in different communities one for a number of thousand?” he requested.
Williams known as for 5 Cities residents to take care of each other, but additionally, most necessary, to take care of themselves as a result of what does it imply to be there for folks you’re keen on and look after for those who aren’t doing the identical for your self? “I needed to prioritize my psychological well being each single day,” he stated.