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Mental Health Matters

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It’s time that mental health issues are brought out into the open and discussed in a caring, honest, and inclusive manner.

We are facing a mental health crisis in our country, with a dramatic increase in anxiety and depression brought on by the pandemic. However, the stigma surrounding mental health continues…even with the bravery of high-profile athletes like Simone Biles.

Mental Health Matters is a year-long series is designed to reduce the stigma of mental health issues by providing education, increasing awareness, and inclusivity. We invite you to join us for some or all of the following programs.

Special Engagement | Professional Development

Mental Health in the Workplace

When: November 9, 2021 from 9am -10:30am
Where: Zoom
Host: Steve Crimando
Event Details: Learn More →

This program is being offered to staff members of Jewish Communal organizations, focused on mental health awareness and skill building. Participants will be trained in safely managing and de-escalating disruptive behavior, ways to offer and provide initial help, and ways to guide a person toward appropriate care if necessary.

Special Engagement | Community Education

Recognizing and Responding to Mental Health Needs in Others

When: January 6, 2022 and January 13, 2022 from 6pm-8pm
Where: Zoom
Host: Blue Dove Foundation
Event Details: Learn More →
All community members are invited to join us for a two-part educational program series, “Recognizing when someone is in need of help.” During this workshop, participants will engage in a variety of activities that strengthen their mental health knowledge, which in turn will help them understand their role in supporting others.
Special Engagement | Book Talk

Up Against the Wind with Author David Wyley Long

When:  April 5, 2022 6-7:30 PM
Where: Gordon JCC
Host: JFS with author David Wyley Long
Event Details: Coming soon

All the work we do at JFS is strictly confidential, so it is a rare opportunity when a client comes forth to share their story. Please join us in supporting David Wyley Long as he shares his incredible story.

David will speak about his newly released book titled Up Against The Wind, Chasing David Wiley. Spanning over 40 years, the book is the inspirational journey of a black boy, born in Newark, New Jersey, to the streets of Detroit, Brooklyn and Nashville. David tackles life with raw honesty and with enduring pain, as he speaks through his continual struggles of learning life, love, heartbreak and more.

His story is a powerful testament of resilience, hope and perseverance. David will speak about his own mental health, how he weathered life’s storms and accomplished his life goals.

On-Going Programs & Events

Interactive Art Project

When: October 2021 – September 2022
Where: Gordon Jewish Community Center

Stand up, speak up and share your truth with an interactive art display that features a collective group of individual journeys including emotions, grief, success and hope. Choose one or more prompts and share your own mental health experience. This project provides a way for the community to come together and be a village for safe expression of personal life experiences.

Look for the soaring hot air balloon at the GJCC right past the Sig Held Art Gallery.

On-Going Programs & Events

Beads of Courage

When: TBD
Where: TBD
Host: Toni Jacobsen, JFS Clinical Director
Event Details: Coming soon

Beads of Courage Strand for Strength and Remembrance Workshop was created for those who are coping with the death of a loved one. During this symbolic and creative arts program, participants are encouraged to express their memories, fears, courage and hope for the future, while honoring family and self through a guided process. During this workshop, each participant will create a unique Strand for Strength and Remembrance from the symbolic beads provided. The workshop will be facilitated by Toni Jacobsen, LCSW who will guide participants through a five-step process to create their personal Strand for Strength. The program incorporates art, creativity, reflection, breathing exercises, storytelling, and remembrance.

If you are interested in participating in the pilot of this program, please call Toni Jacobsen, LCSW Clinical Director at (615) 354-1672 or send her an email.

On-Going Programs & Events

100 Cups of Coffee

Have a cup of coffee on us! Get to know your JFS Nashville professionals so that you know where to go when you need assistance and learn about our agency’s programs and services.

Call or email to schedule your coffee today with:

Ashley Franklin, LMSW Social Worker
ashleyfranklin@jfsnashville.org | (615) 354-1662

Toni Jacobsen, LCSW Clinical Director
tonijacobsen@jfsnashville.org | (615) 354-1672

Pam Kelner, Executive Director
pgkelner@jfsnashville.org | (615) 354-1644

Anna Sir, Helping Hands Coordinator
helpinghands@jfsnashville.org | (615) 354-1686


Free Resources for Parents with Anxious Children

Mindfulness practice can encourage kindness in children and help them manage their emotions. It can also aid in the search of a more enriching and harmonious way of parenting.

Call to schedule a time to pick up your free book:

Ashley Franklin: ashleyfranklin@jfsnashville.org | (615) 354-1662

Toni Jacobsen: tonijacobsen@jfsnashville.org | (615) 354-1672

All Services

Our comprehensive social services and programs are designed to enrich the whole person, enhance the whole family, and empower the whole community–no matter your age, race, religion, preference, identity, economic standing, or otherwise.

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Counseling Services

Life can be challenging, relationships can be hard, and you may need the extra support that comes with working with a therapist. Our licensed social workers offer counseling for individuals, couples, and families, as well as for children and adolescents.

Individuals  |  Couples  |  Families   |  Children & Teens

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Adoption Services

Choosing to adopt a child, or to place a child for adoption, is a life-altering decision. We are a licensed child-placing agency in Tennessee with more than 40 years of experience in adoption services in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

Birth Parents  |  Adoptive Parents  |  LGBTQ+ Adoptions

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Food & Financial Support

Whether you need emergency financial assistance, such as help paying a utility bill or rent for the month, or material assistance by ensuring your children have gifts at the holidays, school supplies, or food supplements, Jewish Family Service offers this critical assistance in a confidential, compassionate manner.

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Older Adult Programs & Services

We recognize that older adults are true treasures, and we strive to create and maintain a community that values and celebrates them for their wisdom, contributions, and experiences. Our programs and services are an important outlet for our older adults, encouraging them to be social and stimulated.

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Family & Community Enrichment

Life can be challenging, and knowledge is power. The Jewish Family Service’s Family and Community Enrichment programs serve to empower, protect, and address the ever-changing needs of the entire Nashville community.

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Who We Are

Passionate providers of comprehensive social services, we are advocates, allies, educators, cheerleaders, and guides who create solutions to problems facing families and individuals of all ages.

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Our Staff

We are a team of experienced professionals dedicated to treating each person with compassion, care and dignity.

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Board of Directors

A group of people with different backgrounds and perspectives who come together to help Jewish Family Service fulfill its mission and expand its reach.

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Ways To Help

The number of ways in which you can help support individuals and families navigate life’s transitions are endless.

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Volunteers are a vital part of how we support our clients. Find opportunities to assist those in our community who need a helping hand.

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Make a Donation

Since our founding in 1853, the generous support of our community has made the work of Jewish Family Service possible.

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JFS Central

Press coverage about JFS Nashville’s programing and services, learn about the history of the agency from our past newsletters, and enjoy reading original JFS content like our signature advice column, “Dear Esther.” Stay up to date with the impact we’re making throughout our community.

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Events & Gatherings

Check out the full calendar of upcoming JFS Nashville events. From community education, support groups, and special engagements alike, find out where you can show up and get connected.

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Information & Referral Resources

Connect with our community partners. Our information and referral directory includes local and national resources that can provide additional support for addiction, mental health, and more.

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Senior Services Directory

Need to know which pharmacies deliver? How to get a ride somewhere? Volunteer opportunities? The senior directory is the go-to resource for anything seniors might need related to the community.

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Contact Us

How can we help? Send us a message, give us a call, or find us on social media. We usually respond within 1-2 business days.

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