In these uncertain times, many organisations have had to adapt and adjust their operations. For organisations such as AUJS and AZYC, who deal with young adults, teenagers and children, the challenge has been even greater. Young people are now acclimatising to the new “normal” and moving their work, studies and social lives completely online, whilst getting used to a world where most forms of interaction are done through screens. Given these dramatic changes, the leadership from the two groups recognised that there needs to be an increased awareness of mental health and self-care during this time of lockdown and isolation.
With the important task of the well-being of their students, madrichim/ot and chanichim/ot at the forefront of their minds, they set about finding an engaging way to support them during this difficult period.
Together, AUJS and AZYC decided to run a 10-day mental health campaign to engage young people in discussions about mental health, while also giving them the opportunity to ask questions and hear from professionals about mental health during the times of COVID-19.
The campaign included engagement via Instagram with a self-care Bingo Board and the chance to go into the draw to win a fun self-care prize.
It also included a mental health professionals panel, Zoom walks, a session with a personal trainer, reflection and relaxation through art and a guided meditation. At the end, there will also be an opportunity for participants to come together and reflect on what they learnt and what the campaign meant to them.
The campaign ran from Thursday 30 April through until Sunday 10 May, and was conducted online through Zoom, Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels.
AZYC Chairperson Rochelle Braverman said, “It was incredibly important for me to not only hear from all the experts we asked to run sessions but also to know that the AZYC could be so open about mental health and work with AUJS to positively impact our community.”
AUJS President Joshua Kirsh said, “This is a natural point of cooperation for our two organisations, and I’m so glad we were able to come together for it. The opportunities that we were able to make available for our members, madrichim and chanichim were exceptional, and I’m glad we could give people some great tools and strategies to support good mental health during this unprecedented time.”