Spirituality and Mental Health

Spirituality can be a source of solace or struggle, and people want to talk about it. The conversation on these topics opens up a new lens to see the whole person sitting in front of me.

“You know how there are times in your life that you will always remember where you were at that moment? Like, I will always remember where I was when I found out JFK was shot. Well, this group is what I will remember when I think about COVID times.” – Spirituality and Mental Health Discussion Participant, November 2020

I met Kitty Dukakis at the 2018 CJP/Ruderman Foundation event on mental health inclusion in synagogues. We share a passion for breaking down the stigma of mental illness, and together we launched a Spirituality and Mental Health Discussion Group at Kehillath Israel in Summer 2018.

With Kitty’s blessing, I have developed groups, workshops, and talks at 20 other area synagogues, colleges, and community centers. I am thrilled to expand my offerings of discussion groups and support groups to a wider audience to address mental health stigma, increase inclusion, and explore mental health in a holistic way. I am available for a variety of group facilitations, workshops, trainings, consultations, and speaking engagements.

I offer:

    • 5-week or 10-week Spirituality and Mental Health Discussion Group
      How are spirituality and religion connected to mental health? Members share how spirituality is (or is not) a part of their lives, and explore how spirituality and mental health impact each other.
    • 1-2-hour Spirituality and Mental Health Workshop
      A 15-minute talk about the intersection of spirituality and mental health, followed by an interactive small-group exercise based on current curriculum used at McLean.
    • 20-minute Dvar Torah (exploration of Jewish text) on Spirituality and Mental Health
      Connecting the week’s parashah (Torah portion) to the pioneering work of McLean’s Department of Spirituality and Mental Health and the need for mental health inclusion.
    • COVIDeo Coping: Online Support Groups or Workshops Learn more about yourself through the guidance of a trained facilitator and the collective expertise of peers in 5-8 week sessions. Topics and timing depend on synagogue and members’ needs. (Note: These topics may also be used as the focus of one-time workshops for larger audiences.)
    • Training and Consultation
      Guidance on best practices for lay leaders to incorporate spirituality and mental health offerings in various communities. Can be one-time or ongoing, depending on needs.

“Thank you for bringing such a sensitive topic to light in an approachable, inclusive, and informative way. It was clear        how engaged people were, both in learning from you and          participating in meaningful conversation with each other. We had little to no drop off, which rarely happens on Zoom!       That really speaks to how dynamic you are as a speaker and facilitator (and I’ll add calming 😊).”                                                  – Loneliness Workshop organizer/participant, March, 2021