Mental Health During a Pandemic

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The struggle is real.

The pandemic has taken a significant toll on the mental health of many in Baltimore’s Jewish community. Fortunately, in these difficult times, The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore’s agencies and programs are equipped to serve the needs of the community safely and effectively.

At Jewish Community Services (JCS), that means delivering therapy, support groups, new client consultations, triage, financial assistance and career coaching — all remotely.

Early on, JCS offered a series of free virtual programs called “Brief Bites” to help members of the community adjust to life during the pandemic. In recent months, the agency has provided interactive discussions on pandemic-related issues, as well as community-wide programs on addiction, and planning for financial, medical and end-of-life matters. JCS support groups for individuals with low vision, dementia caregivers, Parkinson’s patients and their families and those experiencing grief are also running online.

Joe Honsberger, Senior Manager of Therapy Services for JCS has seen an uptick in the incidence of anxiety and depression among clients since the pandemic began.

One group that has been severely affected by the pandemic is survivors of domestic violence, says Honsberger. “People are trapped in their homes, spending much more time with their abusers and they’re scared.” JCS is working in partnership with CHANA, The Associated’s Jewish response to domestic abuse and violence, to provide support to those clients.

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