Spiritual Support Group for Mental Health and Wellness to Start in February

Refuat Hanefesh: A Healing of the Spirit, a Spiritual Support Group for Mental Health and Wellness will begin meeting at Congregation Har HaShem on the fourth Monday night of the month starting in February. The first meeting will be on Monday, February 22. The group will meet from 6:30-8:30 pm. The group is on a drop-in basis; there is no registration necessary, and it is free of charge.

One in every four people in every faith community is affected by a brain disorder. That means 25% of our community may need help coping with mental health issues. Being a faith community automatically means being compassionate or being a channel for what is holy or sacred. We have decided to sponsor a monthly meeting for family members and friends of people who are challenged with mental illness. This group is open to Har HaShem members and members of the wider Jewish community. It will offer a safe place where people can meet and openly name how their spiritual life/faith can help with mental health challenges. Members will be able to support each other by compassionate listening and by sharing strategies and disciplines. Facilitators for the meetings are Rabbi Deborah Ruth Bronstein and Dr. Susan Ollar, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist.

Rabbi Bronstein came to Har HaShem in 1994 and served as the senior rabbi for 21 years. She is now the Rabbi Emerita. Rabbi Bronstein is a member of the board of the Interfaith Network on Mental Illness and has been engaged, within the congregation and in the community, with people who struggle with mental health issues.

Dr. Ollar is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, trauma, bipolar illness, chronic illness, and pain management. She also provides evaluations and treatment of cognitive problems including dementias and other neurological disorders. Dr. Ollar is a member of the American Psychological Association and is on the Medical Staff of Boulder Community Health. For more information, visit her website at: www.BoulderIntegrativePsychology.com.

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