2018-10-10 / Columns

JFCS, JCC & Voice joining forces for a ‘Check Up From the Neck Up?’

STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART
MARLA MEYERS
Executive Director, Jewish Family & Children’s Service

When most people hear the name “Shark Tank,” they think of eager entrepreneurs presenting products to a panel of multimillionaires hoping that one of them will bite and propel them onto a path of success. Do these hopeful business people want to improve their local communities through their products and services? Maybe some do, but I’m not sure that most are out for the “greater good.” How much richer would our world be if we had more Shark Tanks where individuals could propose ideas on how to enrich the communities where they live and work?

As part of a funding opportunity presented by our Jewish Federation, JFCS recently partnered with The Katz JCC Health & Wellness Program and The Jewish Community Voice to present our own “business opportunity” to a local Shark Tank made up of philanthropists. Instead of an Eggmazing Egg Decorator or Snarky Tea- Bold Tea for Bold Women (yes, these are real products), our team presented a multifaceted approach to improving the well-being of individuals. Through the integration of “whole person” activities that include mind and body exercise, we are confident that, together, our agencies will make a unique difference in our wonderful community.

Our idea, “Check Up From the Neck Up,” will engage the community in educational workshops on mental health topics ranging from general stress management to dealing with family stress and will pair these workshops with yoga, meditation, tai chi, and other mindfulness activities led by the talented JCC Health & Wellness instructors. These workshops will demonstrate techniques for wellness and will offer important follow-up resources, including depression screenings, counseling, and participation in the myriad of JCC Health & Wellness programs. We tend to bifurcate our health into simple categories of physical wellbeing, often ignoring the psychosocial aspects of good health. Together, our partnership with the JCC and The Voice seeks to bring these two spheres together in fun, accessible and dynamic ways!

Have you ever had a question you wanted to ask about something personal but were too embarrassed? In addition to the whole-body workshops, The Voice will begin offering a monthly column, “Since You Asked…” that focuses on mental health and emotional well-being. This advice column will allow individuals within the community to submit anonymous questions. Responses from our resident JFCS experts will be printed in subsequent editions of The Voice. The agencies will also post the questions and answers on our websites. This nonthreatening platform will surely be appreciated by people in the community who may be struggling with the same issues but may be afraid to seek help or may feel too isolated and alone to reach out. The column will also serve as a chance to share information on upcoming Check Up from the Neck Up workshops and potentially reach those who otherwise might not know all that we have to offer. Most of all, it will create a conversation that seeks to break downs stigmas and stereotypes associated with mental health.

JFCS is very proud of all that our Counseling Department has to offer, including individual, couples, and family therapy to children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. And, we are delighted to be partnering with the JCC Health & Wellness Department as well as The Voice in an effort to improve the lives of those in our community— body, mind and spirit!

Take the first step towards loving your mind. Call (856) 424-1333 to schedule an appointment with our counseling department. You can also fill out a “request service eform” on our website, at www.jfcssnj.org/counseling.

And, look out for Check Up from the Neck Up programs coming soon! 

mmeyers@jfedsnj.org

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