June 14, 2024
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OU Launches National Mental Health Awareness Campaign

(Courtesy of OU) The Orthodox Union (OU), the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community, brings together Jewish organizations, synagogues and communities in May to raise awareness and educate the community on the impact of mental and emotional health. May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States.

The OU, along with its partners in this initiative—Yeshiva University, the Rabbinical Council of America, Shalom Task Force, National Council of Young Israel, RELIEF, the Digital Citizenship Project, Chai Lifeline, Our Path, a project of Amudim, and other partners to be announced—will offer many crucial resources that can be used by communities and individuals. These include a one-page resource for parents to talk with their children about mental health, Shalom Task Force tools that focus on identifying the signs of domestic abuse and how to get help, and a “Go Dark During Dinner” campaign, in which families put away all technology during dinner.

Additionally, noted lecturers Dr. David Pelcovitz and Dr. Rona Novick of Yeshiva University will answer questions on the topic of mental health in today’s age for adults and children, respectively.

The OU is also asking synagogues, families and individuals to dedicate the Shabbat of May 7-8 toward learning and discussing the issues of mental and emotional health in our communities. The goal is to help bring these issues out of the shadows and into the fore, and to continue to make the community more understanding and supportive of those going through these challenges.

“The pandemic has taken a toll on communal mental health. As life and routine begin to get back to normal, it is crucial that we are attuned to this critical area of our own wellness and that we are sensitive to the challenges faced by others,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer.

For more information or to access mental health resources, please visit: https://www.ou.org/mentalhealth/.

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