From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: May 2020

From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper

Minding your mental health during the pandemic

It might have been a month ago, and then again, it seems like years ago, that I mentioned in this column that it is always important to mind one’s mental health as much as one’s physical health. It maybe has never been as important as it is now. It was Rahm Emanuel, former mayor of Chicago, who while serving as chief of staff to President Obama, remarked, “never miss the opportunity to take advantage of a good crisis.” While his comment might seem a bit cynical, there is much truth in his words. We are all living through a pandemic, and most of us are not at all sure how to manage our feelings, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors day-to-day – and this may go on for a long time.

Last month I asked you, “How are you doing”, and I meant it. Are you noticing any changes in your mental health? Are you worrying more than you normally would about finances? Is the health of your family keeping you awake at night? Are you worried about someone who, due to the stress of the current situation, might be at risk for domestic/family violence? Are you drinking alcohol or taking medication more than you ought to be?

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In ordinary times, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis has offered information about how to recognize the signs and symptoms of behavioral health that warrant attention. We seek to destigmatize mental illness, and therapy because we know that paying attention to your mental health is as necessary as taking care of your physical health.

Given the Covid-19 pandemic, and its disruption to our daily lives, the JFCS Counseling department is especially aware that many people who have experienced mental health crises in their past, as well as those who are feeling impaired for the first time, need assistance. Under the Stay At Home direction from state leadership, our response is to make help a telephone call, text message, email, or Facetime call away. JFCS counselors are ready to help now and are prepared to provide resources, support, education, and compassion.

I hope you’ve seen our social message campaign we released last week as Mental Health Awareness Month was approaching. I know a lot of you have because we heard from you as soon as the campaign launched. If you need us, please know we are Here for All. Always. If you know someone who could use our exceptional, professional care, offered with boundless compassion, please let them know how JFCS can help.

Let’s all take good care of ourselves and all those we love. Let’s make it okay to ask for help.