We are so proud that TBE has become one of, if not the first, religious institution to have a social worker facilitate and support our community’s mental wellness issues. Both of us have been involved in this area personally and professionally all our lives. Suzanne carried on her family tradition of both her social worker parents. Inspired by his sister’s intellectual and mental health disabilities, Alan has devoted a portion of his legal career and volunteer efforts to mental health issues.
Almost 7 years ago, we formed the Mental Health Initiative because we saw TBE as a safe, supportive community which practices the Jewish values of caring for each other, fighting stigma and prejudice, and repairing the world. The committee has created a web-based mental health referral resource guide, provided educational programs and workshops, held a healing service, and created support groups. Our goal of having a staff professional further implement these goals has been championed by the Caring Community and clergy. The result of this co-operative effort is the arrival of Daphna Bernstein, LICSW, an employee of Wellesley’s Human Resources Service, in the role of clinical facilitator. Daphna will provide congregants with mental health assessments and referral to appropriate treatment providers, plan support groups, and consult with our educational staff and clergy.