MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS SHABBAT
31st January – 1st February 2020
What is Mental Health Awareness Shabbat?
Mental Health Awareness Shabbat (MHAS) is an opportunity to raise awareness and promote conversations around mental health in the Jewish community.
This initiative was started by Rabbi Epstein (Cockfosters and North Southgate Synagogue) four years ago together with the London based mental health charity Jami.
MHAS has been marked in shuls, schools, youth and university groups and by individuals and families.
Last year was the first time that MHAS came to Manchester - a number of different shuls marked the occasion and over 100 people attended a panel discussion on mental health issues that weekend.
How can I / my shul get involved?
Please see the link below to find selected parts of the MHAS pack that the charity Jami put together:
In this pack you will find some important facts about mental health, and a suggested sermon that relates Parashat Bo to mental health awareness. Of course there is no obligation to use this particular sermon, but being able to link mental health awareness in from the pulpit is an ideal way to commemorate the Shabbat.
Other ideas of how to mark Mental Health Awareness on Shabbat:
- Getting members of the community to sponsor the Kiddush that week in honour of Mental Health Awareness Shabbat.
- Relevant talk / discussion before or after the Kiddush. Perhaps there are mental health specialists in your own community, or people with their own personal experiences that would like to speak.
- Youth events based around mental health awareness.
- Having any divrei torah that are printed in newsletters that week based on the mental health awareness theme.
- Using the Shabbat as an opportunity to promote or set up initiatives in your community which tackle loneliness e.g. visiting isolated members of the community, having a rota inviting people round who don’t have meals arranged on Shabbat.
If you would like to find out more information about MHAS and to access the full pack, click on the link below:
If you would like to have a mental health awareness professional speak in your shul that shabbat but are unsure who to ask please get in touch and we can try to match you with a speaker.
Please be in touch and let us know how you / your shul is participating this year in MHAS.
“The subject of good mental health and mental health awareness and support is so important and impacts all of us. Thank you for setting up and running this initiative.”
– Rabbi Garber, Shenley United Synagogue