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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 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.

Program Review: A Year of Connection

On-Going Programs & Events

Beads of Courage

Host: Toni Jacobsen, JFS Clinical Director
Event Details: Contact Toni Jacobsen 615-354-1672

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.

Special Engagement | Book Talk

Up Against the Wind with Author David Wyley Long

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. On April  5, 2022, David Wyley Long shared his incredible story with us at the Gordon JCC.

David spoke 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.

Read The Jewish Observer’s recent article about David and his book talk with JFS.

Special Engagement | Professional Development

Mental Health in the Workplace

This program was offered to staff members of Jewish Communal organizations, focused on mental health awareness and skill building in November of 2021. Participants were trained in how to safely manage and de-escalate disruptive behavior, ways to offer and provide initial help, and ways to guide a person toward appropriate care if necessary.

*This program was funded by a new initiative grant through The Jewish Federation and Foundation of Nashville.

Special Engagement | Community Education

Recognizing and Responding to Mental Health Needs in Others

In January 2022, all community members were invited to join us for a two-part educational program series, “Recognizing When Someone is in Need of Help.” During this workshop, participants engaged in a variety of activities to strengthen their mental health knowledge in order to help them understand their role in supporting others.

*This program was hosted by the Blue Dove Foundation and funded by a new initiative grant through The Jewish Federation and Foundation of Nashville.