Approximately 1 in 5 young people in the UK suffer from a mental illness – 20% of our population.
Mental illnesses occur at similar rates around the world, in every culture and in all socio-economic groups – and our religion is no different.
People think that because we are Jewish, we are somehow sheltered by the troubles of the ‘outside world’ – but our community, just like those of our fellow religions Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, is just a microcosm, of the rest of the world.
Therefore 20% of Jews suffer from a mental illness, Charedi, Modern Orthodox, Traditional and Reform – we all affected in exactly the same way.
Jewish Action for Mental Health (JAMH) was set up in response to a number of tragedies in the community.
A group of individuals came together to form our Executive.
This Executive is made up of a wide range of individuals who both span the spectrum of the Jewish Community and are different professionals who have a range of qualifications and life experiences.
Since we formed, in February 2018, we have run four events. This could not have been done without the support of a fabulous team of volunteers.
Our seminal event was an evening with a series of lectures given by Mental Health and medical professionals.
Over 500 people attended and the aim of the event was to educate themselves about young people’s mental health.
We wanted to increase awareness of mental illness in the Jewish community and offer practical guidance in identifying signs of acute psychological distress.
Mental health professionals presented on topics such as promoting positive mental health; signs and symptoms which accompany low mood or depression and guidance on how to talk to someone in acute psychological distress.
A talk was given on the processes and pathways available for accessing help and support, both in the community and in the NHS.
This was followed by a session on possible treatment options and their outcomes.