All children, like adults, go through tough times – bullying, academic pressure, problems at home, peer pressure. For increasing numbers of young people, these pressures build and result in mental health problems. We might feel there is little we can do, but the message of the week is that small gestures of kindness can go a long way, not just for the person we reach out to, but also in promoting our own emotional well-being.
Research tells us that religion, spirituality and being involved in a faith community can promote mental well-being. The Reform Jewish community, including our youth movement RSY-Netzer, provides social opportunities, to mix with others with similar values and to debate safely with those of differing points of view. We offer livluv (translated as ‘blossoming’ or ‘self-development’) – the opportunity for personal development and self-exploration. Volunteering has been shown to aid mental well-being, and is the bedrock of our organisation – we would not exist without volunteers and we invest in our young people as our leaders of the future. Opportunities to connect with others and with God, through prayer, song and learning, allow us to further build our own self-awareness, meaning and sense of purpose.
RSY-Netzer aims to ensure these opportunities are available to everyone and, thanks to a generous donation to fund a Mental Health Welfare Officer, we hope to be able to extend our work within RSY-Netzer and to communities.
To get involved with Children’s Mental Health week, ‘spread a little kindness’ in your community and beyond.
To find more ideas, information and resources for young people, parents, teachers and youth clubs visit the Children’s Mental Health Week website.