The Jewish community is bringing the power of compassion to National Mental Health Awareness Month.

A project of the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative for the second year in a row, “Collective Compassion” shares events and resources from more than a dozen Jewish partners in a coordinated response to mental-health needs that have been amplified in the last 14 months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pop-up programs, workshops, giving circles, “screen-side chats” and other initiatives throughout May draw on Jewish culture and wisdom to help address rising levels of loneliness, stress and anxiety.

Highlights include:

Creativity for Coping to help build resilience through creative guides such as “Storytelling for Strength and Sanity,” screaming meditation, breathwork and even a comedy show to help people relax, center themselves and understand how these techniques tie to Jewish wisdom.

Education and Awareness to learn and share practical tools for mental health, iGen: Understanding the Smartphone Generation with Dr. Jean Twenge, an event for parents and educators of teens and tweens to provide ideas for how to help your family find a better balance with technology to be healthier and happier.

CPR for Mental Health to teach adults how to support young people, ages 12 to 21. Professionals and others adults and parents benefit from the Jewishly-framed, six-hour training course, a mix of self-paced and Instructor-led workshops. Certification is valid for three years.

Curated books, art, apps and quarantine playlists to provide personal support and to encourage positive mental health.

“Events of the last year have left many reeling with a heightened sense of uncertainty, confusion and loss, and our community is responding in a powerful way,” says Sara Allen, executive director of the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative. “Inspired by the creativity and commitment of our partners, we hope people explore the dozens of offerings and learn self-compassion strategies, participate in practices that draw on Jewish tradition and see that no matter what people are going through, you are not alone.”


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