Jami Charity See Mental Health Campaign: 36 Hours to Raise £1 Million

(image: Jami)

My dad Mike and I have been fundraising in the past day for a cause which is close to our heart. Jami mental health charity serves our community, the Jewish community here in the UK and beyond.

We have been asking people to donate to Jami’s match funded campaign to raise £1 million to support existing services and also to pilot a new service for secondary school age children. Referrals during the pandemic have risen and mental health support is much needed for under 18’s too.

We are fundraising because we ourselves have been affected by mental health (bipolar disorder) in our family. I was diagnosed at just 16 and had good NHS care in hospital but at the time, there was little support in the Jewish community available for me as a child. Mike was diagnosed at 44, a few years before me, and was thankfully helped to recovery.

We are both great supporters of Jami’s work (I am a Jami volunteer and we have both spoken at the mental health shabbat) and we believe this service will be vital for caring for secondary school children. Services are stretched and children are put on long waiting lists.. this is where Jami would come in to support a child and their family.

Today,, the campaign hit over its £1 million pound target and it is just incredible to see our community funding (badly needed) mental health support ! Its been wonderful to play a small part in this campaign- we have hit over £2000 of funding on our page!

This is so very close to our hearts due to our experiences and those in our community who are struggling. We want to raise as much as we can to support this service- every pound you donate will be doubled so please give as generously as you can. Thank you so much!

Please donate here, we so appreciate it : https://www.charityextra.com/jami/151

Talking for the Jami Mental Health Awareness Shabbat 2020 by Eleanor


As some of you will be aware, back in 2017-2018, I helped as a volunteer with fellow volunteers (Lisa Coffman and others) to found the Mental Health Awareness Shabbat (Jewish sabbath) in our communities across the country here in the UK. The initiative, led by the mental health charity Jami and conceived by Rabbi Daniel Epstein, now runs in 150 Jewish communities.

This year, my dad Mike and I were delighted to be asked to share our father and daughter journey with bipolar disorder to Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue.

I have social anxiety- which includes at times a fear of public speaking. In December, I had a breakthrough, where I spoke for a short time at a conference called Limmud alongside my Dad and read from my book Bring me to Light. So, when we were asked to do this talk at Chigwell, I felt it could be possible.

I armed myself with the fact that I knew kind people in the community including the Rabbi and his wife and friends of my husband Rob (its the community he grew up in). I also wanted to share my story to help other people.

So, we stayed with a lovely lady in the community and had friday night dinner with the Rabbi and his family. On Saturday morning, I woke up feeling a little nervous but took my trusted anxiety medication for when I need it- Propranolol, and walked to the synagogue with Dad.

I managed not to have a panic attack and the thought of speaking to help others got me through (as did distraction, deep breathing and drinking a glass of water).

So, at the end of the service, we were called up to speak. Dad went first and talked about his journey with bipolar disorder from when it started for him in 1991 to finding recovery. Then, it was my turn.

I stood up there in the pulpit speaking to a packed audience with a prepared speech. I felt scared but also empowered and began to relax into the talk. I knew that by sharing what happened to me, being sectioned and so ill and talking openly, that I could break stigma and touch others. I was also so proud of my Dad for speaking so openly.

It was only after, when talking to people after the service, that we realised that about 150 people came to listen to our talk! We had some important conversations with people after our talk including someone very newly diagnosed and someone else whose niece had bipolar and is currently very ill.

I couldn’t and still can’t believe I was able to do that. However, since I have been very tired so trying to de-stress and rest as much as I can!

We just want to thank everyone who came to hear our talk and supported us, to every person who thanked us for coming and shared their stories with us. We are so grateful for such a positive reception and thank Rabbi Davis and the Chigwell community for having us.

The Mental Health Awareness Shabbat has had events in communities all across the country. It runs yearly and you can find out more here 

Mental Health Awareness Shabbat: Jami Panel Event at JW3



Tackling Mental Illness HEAD ON: A Panel Discussion

Join JW3 together with Jami, The mental health service for our community for a panel discussion to mark Head On, The Mental Health Awareness Shabbat. This year, the panel will discuss key life transitions and the impact these can have on mental health, before opening up the discussion to a Q&A from the audience to our panel of experts:

  • Laurie Rackind, Chief Executive of Jami, The Mental Health Service for the Jewish Community
  • Nathan Servi from Streetwise, delivering wellbeing activities in 40 Jewish primary schools
  • Abbie Mitchell – Mental Health Campaigner and Peer Mentoring Manager at Fitzrovia Youth in Action
  • Rebecca Corney – Counselling Psychologist and member of Jami Clinical Governance group
  • Rabbi Rebecca Birk, Finchley Progressive Synagogue


Panel to be chaired by Paul Stein, Director of Fundraising at research charity MQ: Transforming Mental Health


Date: Tuesday 8th January 2019

Time: 7.30pm-9.30pm

Location: JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3 6ET

Book your ticket here.