The pandemic was already taking a toll on mental health, and the George Floyd murder compounded an already growing sense of anxiety and loss. Many who wanted to join peaceful protests or show their respects were unable to do so for fear of public gatherings. Many feared physically consoling others, reaching out for a supportive hug, or crying on a shoulder, which only increased isolation and prolonged our sense of sadness.
We can’t see friends and family for the support systems we depend on. However, we may find ourselves stuck at home with people we don’t usually spend much time with. The risk of job loss has skyrocketed. The chance of catching a life-threatening virus is constantly present. Frustration, stress, anxiety, fear and loneliness have crept into nearly everyone’s life.
Twin Cities Jewish mental health leaders Jewish Family Service of St. Paul (JFS) and Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS) offer mental health services using the telephone and video conferencing.
JFS launched a new program that includes three free 20-minute phone conversations with a mental health professional. The goal of the Community Support Program is to help people feel more grounded and emotionally secure by discussing strategies for improving their sense of well-being.
PEARLS (Program to Encourage Active and Rewarding Lives) is free grant-funded short-term counseling for seniors who suffer from low mood or depression. The skills and tools offered in the program help participants address life’s problems and make ongoing plans to engage in a variety of pleasurable, meaningful activities. Counselors provide eight one-on-one support sessions. PEARLS is also available to caregivers to help them focus on their own mental health while coping with the difficult challenges inherent in caregiving.
JFS therapists specialize in the assessment and treatment of a wide range of mental health issues for children, adolescents, adults, couples including premarital counseling, and families. While they have extensive experience working with Jewish family life issues, the therapists serve individuals and families regardless of religion, income, heritage or circumstance. This counseling is offered on a fee-for-service basis and is covered by a wide variety of health insurance plans. A subsidized sliding fee is also available for those who qualify.
JFCS Counseling and Mental Health Services — The current crisis and extreme physical distancing measures have many feeling anxious and isolated. Our highly skilled, licensed JFCS counselors provide confidential teletherapy for people of all backgrounds and ages. Our counseling services include individual psychotherapy for adults, adolescents and children, couples therapy, family therapy, child therapy, parenting coaching, grief support and more. Most insurance, including Medicare and Medical Assistance, is accepted.
Parent Coaching — JFCS Parent Coaching provides tailored and evidence-based supports for parents who are dealing with a specific issue or concern with their children or family. Parent coaches assist families in creating a plan of action to effectively address the problem in an authentic way. They are not therapists – they do not diagnose conditions. Parent coaching is generally short-term and forward-looking in nature – the goal is to empower and educate parents and provide them with tools for success in just a few meetings. Parent coaches are certified professionals and are able to meet with you in person, over the phone, or via video conference. We work with families of any religion, size or shape with children ages two through college-age.
Targeted Case Management — Professional case managers assist adults living with mental health challenges by coordinating and obtaining a wide range of services for them, individually tailored to help promote and maintain independence, stability and health. We encourage and promote maintaining healthy relationships with family, friends and community.
Care Planning Consultation — Care Planning Consultation helps when families notice changes in parents and/or spouses, including increased forgetfulness; withdrawal from social activities; decreased confidence or ability in driving; becoming overwhelmed by normal tasks; or other changes. Before a crisis arises, Care Planning Consultation helps families articulate issues and challenges, learn about available resources, create a plan for maximizing independence and more.
Caregiver Coaching — Caregiver Coaches work directly with family members to guide them in making changes to improve life at home. This includes an assessment, comprehensive report and care plan, caregiver education and behavior/communication analysis and training. Coaches help coordinate services to benefit the person living with dementia and assist the caregiver in promoting better self-care.
This article was submitted by Jewish Family Service of St. Paul (JFS) and Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS). JFS can be contacted at 651-698-0767; and information is online at: jfssp.org. JFCS can be reached at 952-546-0616; for information online, go to: jfcsmpls.org.