This Pesach, one in four people at your Seder will be struggling with their mental health

Jewish Care, which has merged with Jami, is appealing to the community to support its vital services


This Pesach, we need to think of those struggling with their mental health (Photo: Blake Ezra)

Many of us will be all too aware of the unprecedented mental health challenges our community is facing because thousands of us are living with its devastating impact every day.

In national news, we regularly see reports of government cuts to mental health services, further delays to a review of social care and long waiting lists that only increase stress for those who are already struggling with their mental health. Our community is not immune. The after-effects of the pandemic, the pressures of rising costs and delays in accessing the right support are impacting Jewish families.

We pride ourselves, as a community, in supporting those who are most in need. And rightly so. However, specialist community and care services are costly. That’s why Jewish Care and Jami have become one organisation. Together, we are in a stronger position to offer sustainable mental health support to the Jewish community.

As we gather around our Seder tables next week, to sing, celebrate and tell the Pesach story of freedom, one in four of us in the Jewish community across the generations will be living with mental illness and distress.

Sadly, children of secondary school age are the fastest growing group. Over half of young people under 25 are struggling with their mental health.

With the addition of Jami to Jewish Care, we need to raise a total of £20 million this year to continue to run all our services and to address this growing need.

This will fund vital support, such as Jami’s Children and Young Person’s service, which began as a pilot in May 2022 at JCoSS, expanding to JFS last summer. Children and young people experience a range of issues relating to their mental health, including anxiety, low self-esteem and struggles with relationships. They receive one-to-one support from Jami’s specialist mental health practitioners to enable them to manage their mental health and achieve set goals. It is making a huge difference to the everyday lives of the young people who are benefiting from this service.

Our one-to-one counselling, suicide prevention programmes, support groups for families and carers, vocational support and volunteer befriending are lifelines for people living with mental illness and distress. The same is true of Jami’s community hubs and social enterprise café, Head Room in Golders Green, which also provide vital social connections for people who may have become isolated because of their mental health problems.

There is no government funding for any of these services and we rely on the community’s support to deliver them.

For adults who are living with long-term mental illness at Jewish Care’s Sidney Corob House and Jack Gardner House residential care homes, additional meaningful activities, including art therapy and group outings, also rely on generous charitable contributions. Our caring specialist staff provide person-centred support in a warm Jewish environment to some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Jewish Care’s social workers and family carers team also provide support and advocacy for individuals living with mental illness and their families.

This Pesach, we ask for your support to ensure we can continue to be there for those across the generations who are struggling with mental illness and distress.

I hope that, like me, you can see a future filled with opportunity and confidence in what Jewish Care and Jami can achieve. Together, with your support, we will continue to be there for those who need us most.

To donate, visit or call 020 8922 2600.

For information, support and advice, contact Jewish Care Direct helpline at or 020 8922 2222, or visit or call 020 8458 2223.

Daniel Carmel-Brown is CEO of  Jewish Care

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