May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Emotional and mental well being have come to the forefront of conversations as we all cope with the impact of COVID-19. Whether you or someone you know has an ongoing mental health concern, or feels heightened stress, anxiety, depression or mental distress due to the current environment, know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. #NotAlone is the messaging for this Mental Health Awareness Month ; JFCS is here for you.

What are we doing right now?
Engagement and connection are important ways to foster positive mental health, especially in times of crisis. Our teens programs have provided an outlet for our participant to socialize and share over their experiences.
  • Since March 30, participants for both our Gesher LeKesher and Jewish Community Youth Foundation (JCYF) programs have participated in weekly video calls. Guided, interactive discussions have allowed teens to connect over topics such as "How are you feeling in this new reality?" "New ideas to Survive a Stay-at-Home Spring Break" "Recognizing how lives are affected around the world" "How do we now view time? How do we want to remember this experience?" Across both groups, 50 youth and teens benefit from these weekly meetings, giving them a place to connect, share advice and learn about new resources.

1 in 5 adults experience a mental health condition each year. Now more than ever, connection is important to those who are experiencing emotional or mental distress.
Looking for someone to speak to? Do you need support?
  • Connect with a JFCS counselor during "Drop-in" Hours. You can connect one-on-one with a counselor who can provide personalized tips and support. Drop-In hours will be Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 10 AM - 12 PM, Tuesday & Thursdays 5 - 7 PM. Call us at 609-987-8100 and Dial 0.

Find more information and advice in our weekly webinars:
  • See recordings of previous webinars on JFCS Mercer Youtube page. Topics have included Managing Anxiety, Skills for Stress Management, and understanding lessons we can learn about resiliency.

  • Upcoming Webinar! Tuesday, May 5 at 3:00 PM "7 Important Documents for Seniors" Andrea Gaynor, LCSW and geriatric care manager, will outline key legal and medical documents that are critical for planning. Understanding their significance is especially important In light of this pandemic. Join by following the link or call in at 1-312-626-6799 and enter Webinar ID: 970-2977-0817.

  • Our Resource Page is a wealth of knowledge blog posts from our team and new links to resources.

  • DEADLINE EXTENSION FOR MENSCH AWARDS! - scholarships available! Our Annual Mensch Awards for 8th and 12th graders (due May 11) and the Wollin Scholarship for future or current Rutgers University students (Due June 1). Follow links for details and applications.

What is in the works?
  • On April 19 we hosted J-Serve which brought together over 60 youth who participated in virtual acts of service. Save the Date - the next Virtual J-Serve will be Sunday, May 17! Register by May 15.

What can you do?
  • If you are looking for a way to give back and are interested in our volunteer opportunities, contact Eden Aaronson at EdenA@jfcsonline.org.
  • If you or someone you know needs emergency food - call us.
  • If you or someone you know could benefit from our counseling support - call us.
Tuesday May 5th is #GivingTuesdayNow! On this global day of giving, JFCS is challenging our community to help us raise $18,000.
Each dollar donated will be MATCHED! Make a gift now for double the impact.