P’tach Libeynu: Open Hearts, Open Minds about Mental Illness
P’tach Libeynu Support Groups
One out of every four families is touched by mental illness. The challenges are daunting. P’tach Libeynu (Open Our Hearts) is working to educate people about mental illness, and to provide needed support to families and their loved ones with mental illness.
Our support groups help individuals and family members find a safe space at Temple Isaiah to reveal their stories and connect with others within their community.
P’tach Libeynu’s group for adults with mental illness is facilitated by a professional therapist, Valerie Milner, and supported by Diana MaKieve. The group for family members of adults with mental illness is facilitated by Karen Cohen, Rosemarie Frydman and Diana MaKieve.
Family Members of Adults with Mental Illness
Fourth Mondays at 7:00 p.m. in the TTC Room 204
Adults with Mental Illness
First Sundays at 3:00 p.m. in the TTC Room 204
For more information about P’tach Libeynu’s ongoing activities visit www.openourhearts.net
In January of 2009 Temple Isaiah hosted a conference for the Contra Costa Jewish community called P’tach Libeynu: Beginning a Conversation About the Stigma of Mental Illness. Two hundred people attended and we launched an important initiative to help those with mental illness, their friends and family members, mental health professionals and Jewish professionals grapple with the on-going communal challenges of supporting and integrating those with mental illness.
During the conference, we created a “next steps” list of priorities and we are currently fulfilling the first on that list by offering a support group for family members of adults with mental illness. We began with a support group facilitated by Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay. As participants complete the facilitated support group, they have the opportunity to join a lay led group which will have more of a social support and resource sharing focus. Other steps include a speakers program, education through temple bulletins, website, and emails, and continuing education for rabbis, cantors, and educators on this important topic.
P’tach Libeynu is sponsored by Temple Isaiah and Women of Isaiah, Congregations B’nai Tikvah, Beth Chaim, B’nai Shalom, Contra Costa JCC, Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay, Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay, the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, and the Union of Reform Judaism’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns. The support groups are sponsored in part by a grant from the Jewish Community Federation and Foundation and the Sadie Meyer and Louis Cohn Foundation.