From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: May 2023

May is such a special month, and not just because Hallmark tells us to appreciate our mothers….though that is a very special part of the month! May represents true springtime in Minnesota. It is also the month we celebrate graduates and graduations, and in many respects, it feels like a month of culminations and new beginnings. What a great time of year! 

Another reason to feel good about May is that it has become the month to uplift and de-stigmatize mental illness. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I can think of no better time of year than this to celebrate mental health. As we emerge from the grayness of winter and time spent shut indoors, we can shed more light and understanding on the issue of mental illness and its challenges. 

Statistics tell us that a very large number of us will experience a mental health crisis or challenge during our lifetimes. It is nearly impossible to avoid noticing headlines that tell us the pandemic has done damage to our psyches, and social media is contributing serious harm to our children and young peoples’ mental health. It is also true that the frequency in which we hear about gun violence is contributing to our ability to manage anxiety and our sense of security. Anxiety and depression are often linked. 

With awareness of our own vulnerability with respect to mental health, an environment where we can ask for, receive help, and have access to caring professionals is essential. This remains true when assisting our children and teens or managing the needs of aging parents and other family members and friends.

Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis is Here for All. Always. When it comes to serving the needs of our Jewish and broad community with counseling, case management and coordination for those with severe and persistent mental illness, as well as being the go-to resource for family life education and training, you can count on us to make it ok to ask for help.