Mind Your Mind
June 24, 2021
Nesivos Introduces Mental Health Awareness Day to the Lakewood Community
In an unprecedented initiative, Nesivos, in partnership with CHEMED and LCSC, is bringing the first annual Mind Your Mind, a Mental Health Awareness Day project, to the Lakewood community.
A nonprofit institution founded and directed by Rabbi Binyamin Greenspoon, LCSW, and Rabbi Yishai Ghoori, Nesivos is dedicated to supporting and guiding teens and their families who struggle psychologically, emotionally, or socially. Working with not only the clients and their families but also their respective schools and therapists, Nesivos has become the go-to address for those who are struggling.
“Nesivos is the nucleus of the intervention. We provide complete case management as well as one-on-one mentors, advisers, and support groups to follow up and ensure that the client recovers and goes on to lead a productive, meaningful, and successful life,” Rabbi Greenspoon explains.
Nesivos was established based on the belief that mental health is the foundation of both physical and spiritual health. While Nesivos continues to be there for individuals in need, it also remains true to its slogan, “A way forward,” in attending to the greater needs of the community as a whole.
The bigger picture
“Psychological struggles are just as common in the Jewish world as they are in the world at large,” Yehoshua Basch, LCSW, a case manager at Nesivos, attests. According to research, an average of one in four individuals will struggle at some point in their lives.
Rabbi Yishai Ghoori shares what Nesivos has seen over the past years: “The Lakewood community has come a long way in mental health education and expertise as well as developing competent resources,” he explains, “We need to continue spreading awareness and breaking the stigma.”
“Our community deserves a lot of credit for keeping up with the constant changes and advancements in the mental health field,” Rabbi Moshe Tendler, executive director, adds. “People need to know that vulnerability is a big part of the healing process, and sharing your story will enable you to get the help you need.”
As Rabbi Greenspoon notes, “We need people to know that help is out there and that reaching out for it is a sign of strength, not weakness.”
The numbers speak volumes. The number of teens alone who are led to Nesivos shows that statistically, there are many more adults and children out there who are struggling in silence.
Our community has come a long way in recognizing and understanding mental health, and we need to continue to stop the spread of misinformation, the shame, and the stigma. Mind Your Mind has been established for just that purpose.
Mind Your Mind is more than just a Mental Health Awareness Day project. It is a movement, a revolution rooted in the Lakewood Jewish community which is rapidly gaining momentum and support in the Lakewood area and beyond. More and more people are understanding that just as we put in the necessary effort to ensure that our body is healthy, we are responsible to ensure that our mind is healthy as well. And more and more people are recognizing that one can recover and move on to lead a healthy and productive life even after undergoing a struggle.
“There are so many people out there who are respected and successful members of their families, communities, and businesses who have once struggled with a challenge of some sort,” shares Rabbi Greenspoon. “When those individuals share their stories and successes with the public, they help normalize the struggles that so many others are facing.”
Along with other community organizations like CHEMED and LCSC, Nesivos employs and has access to numerous competent, frum therapists who are experts in various therapy approaches and can treat clients of all ages and personality types.
Rabbi Greenspoon and his devoted team are on a mission to prove that mental struggle does not define you or your future.
Mind Your Mind
Nesivos, together with CHEMED and LCSC, is working tirelessly to create an informative, inclusive, and effective program that will take place this coming July 6. The program will consist of the Sienna Capital Group Half Marathon, a 13.1 mile run beginning at 5 p.m. at the corner of South Lake Drive and continuing to the home of a key supporter of the Nesivos project. All are invited to cheer on the runners throughout their journey. After the long trek, runners and their families will celebrate at the finish line with an exclusive party sponsored by Nesivos.
Later in the evening, a live question-and-answer event will be broadcasted on Radio Kol Bramah featuring a panel of leading doctors and therapists.
In a networking event in preparation for Mind Your Mind set to take place on June 24, Nesivos will facilitatethe meeting of prominent mental health professionals as well as local askanim to support the project and its efforts. Rav Uri Deutsch, rav of Forest Park and a well-known leader at the forefront of the community’s mental health needs, will speak, as well as other distinguished rabbanim and specialists.
A way forward
But Nesivos is not stopping here. Look out for more program details, get involved, and share your story.
Nesivos’s message is a reflection of what the organization has been doing for many years: if you know someone who is struggling, lend a nonjudgmental listening ear, support them, and encourage them to get help. And if it is you who are struggling, share your story and reach out. The more you share, the more others will share.
Rabbi Greenspoon concludes, “We believe each and every person has the ability and responsibility to do their part in dispelling the negative stereotypes that surround struggles and supporting mental health.”
Be a part of the positive change. Be there for others. Be there for yourself.
To join or support the half-marathon, visit www.nesivoshalfmarathon.com. To speak to a licensed specialist at Nesivos, call 732-534-7800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
5,000 case and referrals this past year
80 attendees at biweekly parent support groups
75 trained mentors
50 principals who attended in-school educational workshops
300 attendees at evening of community education and awareness
Nesivos heroes speak
“After years of struggling silently, I have finally been able to overcome my trauma and move on.” —L.S.
“I can now understand my son and give him the support he needs to progress.” —C.M.
“I don’t know where I would be today without the lifesaving guidance I got when I so desperately needed it.” —S.G.
“My daughter is a happy, thriving child again.” —E.H.
“I am now so comfortable speaking about what I’ve been through. My journey is a part of who I am today, and I am proud of it all.” —M.F.
“This is not just chessed, this is true hatzalas nefashos.” —Rabbi Y.F.