Pesach postcards

March 31, 2015 by Donna Surdut
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As we prepare to commemorate the freedom of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, Melbourne’s Jewish Care has turned its focus to freedom from another kind of enslavement – mental illness.

: Cassandra Barrett, Jewish Care’s Mental Health Promotion and Resource Officer, with the postcards from the Mental Health Awareness Campaign

: Cassandra Barrett, Jewish Care’s Mental Health Promotion and Resource Officer, with the postcards from the Mental Health Awareness Campaign

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that in any one year, around 1 in 5 people are affected by a diagnosable mental illness. This translates to approximately 10,000 Jewish Victorians, many of whom will sadly not contact a health professional for help.

Despite the high prevalence of mental illness across the Australian community, research indicates that a significant proportion of those affected do not seek help, either because they are unable to recognise the symptoms of mental illness, or because of the negative stigma that is still associated with it.

Part of Jewish Care’s mental health promotion initiative, the Postcards for Pesach campaign aims to open up conversation about mental health across the community and thereby increase awareness of anxiety and depression.

“It is a sad fact that many people who experience mental illness do not get help, nor do they disclose to their family and friends. This is particularly concerning given that we know that early help-seeking and support are key factors in recovery from mental illness,” said Jewish Care’s CEO, Bill Appleby.

“The Postcards for Pesach campaign, with its slogan of ‘Reach out. Speak out’ is aimed at encouraging those who are silently suffering to realise that it is okay to reach out and seek support. There is no shame in asking for help.”

The free postcards have been distributed across the community and can be a great way to start a conversation with someone you are worried about, so be sure to look out for these cards. Alternatively, to order a copy of the cards directly, available in English and Russian, contact Jewish Care’s Mental Health Promotion and Resource Officer on (03) 8517 5999

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