On my desk, I have a framed playing card my son gave me a few years back. It is from a game called ‘Magic: The Gathering’ that he was playing the time. On top of the card he circled the words ‘Inner Calm, Outer Strength,’ which describe the powers of this particular card. I felt he was offering me wisdom for both parenting as well as leadership, which is funny given he was only about 10 years old at the time.
Finding inner calm and outer strength can be very challenging when we are navigating complicated waters in our lives. We all need people who help us find the inner calm needed to make clear decisions and find the strength to move forward on those decisions, even if we are uncertain or things seems to be spiraling. Anyone who has had to support a teenager who is struggling or a loved one who is aging knows how difficult this can be. Sometimes we need someone who can help us find our balance or just point us in the right direction.
As a result of many conversations with leaders across the community, as well as looking at the data, it has become clear there is an increasing need for us to expand our services to better support teens, young adults, their families and the organizations that work with them. So, we intend to do just that. Our goal is to build out an initiative that addresses the rise in depression, stress and anxiety among young people.
As a first step, we have started offering Mental Health First Aid trainings to help give people the basic tools to step in and help, much the way many people have been trained in CPR. We will also be increasing our counseling services for youth and young adults. Our goal is to learn from, and collaborate with, our community partners to provide the services and support needed most. And, in this way we will all find a bit more inner calm and outer strength.
By Rabbi Will Berkovitz, Chief Executive Officer