Nachum interviewed Dr. Rachel Goodman, Ph.D. about tonight’s Mental Health Symposium, via Zoom, Featuring Dr. Norman Blumenthal. The press release is below:
Thank you for your interest in the 2nd Annual Mental Health Shabbat. Last year, in Montreal, we hosted a 1st Annual City-Wide Mental Health Shabbat and were lucky enough to have Dr. David Pelcovitz as our scholar in residence. This year, our 2nd annual Mental Health Shabbat is scheduled for May 7-9, 2020, which coincides with Canadian Mental Health Week, and we have Dr. Norman Blumenthal as our scholar in residence. Even though we can no longer do this as a live event, we see the importance of this event as exponentially higher now more than ever. We hope that now that we will be going virtual, that we can partner with communities across North America. We are proud to have started this in Montreal and now that this has gained momentum and has spread to communities across North America. We are hoping that as many communities and synagogues as possible will dedicate this Shabbat to Mental Health.
Each year, we launch the Annual Mental Health Shabbat with a Mental Health Symposium on Thursday evening prior to Shabbat and this year that will be held on Thursday evening May 7 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. This year, it will be held on YouTube through our shul link and a call-in number so that we can reach as many people and shuls as possible. www.tbdj.org/mentalhealth2020
Our original topic for the weekend, Anxiety through the Lifespan: A Jewish Community Response, has never been more fitting, and now, with the COVID-19 pandemic leading to mental health risks in the general public, and an increased risk of isolation, anxiety, depression, and suicide in those with prior mental health histories, we feel that it is incumbent upon us to make this as widespread as possible. Our panel of speakers will include our keynote speaker, Dr. Norman Blumenthal, and we have representatives of our local Rabbinate, Ometz, the local community agency for mental health, and a family caregiver who will share her experiences on behalf of family members.
In addition, Dr. Blumenthal will be speaking to upper high school students on Friday May 8 at 10:30-1130am about the topic of Anxiety of the Unknown, recognizing how challenging this has been for students who do not know what the future holds for them now regarding school, travel, etc. This has been made available to numerous Jewish day schools across North America and can be accessed at www.tbdj.org/teenmentalhealth