As the year draws to a close, mental health continues to drive headlines, with 90 percent of American adults believing the country is experiencing a mental health crisis. Every day we hear stories about anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide, which remains the second-leading cause of death among 10- to 14-year-olds and 24- to 35-year-olds.
When it comes to mental health, we each have a story. It might be about ourself, or it might be about someone close — a family member, a friend, a neighbor. How do we navigate those stories and share them with others?
Stories can help people get through some of life’s most difficult challenges.
See some of our Mental Health Stories:
Therapeutic for those telling the story, potentially life changing for those listening. Stories show people who are struggling they are not alone. But telling them can be difficult. That’s where the Blue Dove Foundation comes in. We help people use their stories to support their own mental health and others.’ But we need the help of our community to keep doing the work we do.
Blue Dove works with organizations across the United States, Canada, England and Israel to provide mental health education and awareness to Jewish communities, from the unaffiliated to the ultra-Orthodox, as well as non-Jewish groups through interfaith mental health conversations. Our goal is to provide other Jewish organizations in the community with resources and information to help them create safer, healthier communities. We have accomplished incredible things, including developing some innovative workshops and programs designed to increase awareness and decrease the stigma around mental illness and substance abuse.
Over the years, we have grown significantly: In 2018, we engaged fewer than 400 people with our programs and speaker events; in 2022, close to 75,000 came to in-person and Zoom events, watched our videos and/or downloaded our online resources. More and more, people are coming to us when they need help and information about mental illness, including addictive disorders. To meet the higher demand, we increased our staff and created new tools and resources, such as our Every Life Counts program, which focuses on suicide awareness, prevention and survival. We enhanced our mental health conversations and materials for Jewish holidays as well as our mental wellness workshops. And, of course, we continued to tell stories in virtual and in-person events.
The only way we will be able to further break down the stigma around mental illnesses like depression and addiction is to keep mental health at the front and center in our daily activities and conversations. But we can only do it with your support. We rely on your generosity to continue to raise awareness, to educate our community and to amplify our outreach.
#QuietingTheSilence: Personal Stories
For the longest time, the Jewish community wouldn’t talk about anything related to mental health. The subject carried a stigma that in many places remains in place, preventing individuals from opening up and seeking help.
#QuietingTheSilence: Personal Stories offers a chance for people to share stories and perspectives related to their own life-changing experiences involving mental illness and addiction. Through these personal stories of struggles and loss, we hope to show individuals they are not alone, and to work toward eliminating the shame and stigma many feel around these topics. This book has been a part of several different Jewish Book Festivals across the country.