Refuat HaNefesh: A Spiritual Support Group for People Struggling with Mental Health Issues, their Families and their Friends
According to the National Institute on Mental Health, one out of every four people in every faith community will, at some point, experience some symptoms of mental dysfunction (or disorder). That means, 25% of our congregations will be affected directly, in addition to their family members and loved ones who may need support in coping with their loved one’s illness. Being a faith community means being a channel or presence for what is holy or sacred. Therefore, offering a spiritual support group is an outgrowth of this presence. Spiritual support groups affirm that each person does not have to be alone with his or her journey or struggles. Hearing each others’ stories and life experiences can be a liberating and welcome break in the silence that often surrounds mental illness/brain disorders and the burdens carried as a result. “Coming out” and speaking in a safe, non-judgmental place allows isolation to dissipate and community to be created.
Har HaShem’s Spiritual Support Group for people living with mental health issues, their family members and friends is a loving, supportive and confidential meeting place. It has been meeting for a year and a half. Beginning in September we will start meeting twice a month, on the first and third Tuesday from 6:30-8:00 pm with the exception of Jewish and National holidays. This group is open to all members of the Jewish community. This is a drop-in group though we’ve seen that people who come regularly tend to get more out of the experience. There is no need to register. There is no cost to participate. Together we will share and hear how faith and a reliance on a Higher Power can be helpful when coping with this disease. We also share methods that help us move through times of difficulty and articulate our sources of hope and strength.
This group is co-facilitated by Rabbi Deborah Ruth Bronstein, Rabbi Emerita at Congregation Har HaShem and Dr. Jed Shapiro, long term psychiatrist in Boulder CO.
For more information about the group, feel free to email Rabbi Bronstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.