- to increase awareness and decrease stigma
- to provide support to those suffering and those effected by mental illness
- to develop a conversation in the community about mental illness
- to decrease suicide in the Houston Jewish community
- to promote and train the community in Mental Health First Aid
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At this time last year, Greater Houston’s Jewish community was beginning to come to terms with the fact that its young adult population was suffering from a “suicide epidemic.” As many as nine Jewish Houstonians, all under the age of 36, had died by suicide over the course of a year-and-a-half.
For years, intermittently, I could feel the tight band cutting into my wrist. When it did, it hurt. As time passed, when it would loosen, I could wake in the mornings and go for days without feeling the burden of wearing it. But an event here, a word there, could bring it all back — and the colorless band would tighten, tugging at my heart more than stressing a wrist or any other part of my body.
With the recent spate of celebrity suicides — fashion designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain — and the recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that suicide rates in the United States have risen sharply over the past 20 years (half of all states saw a more than 30 percent rise), it’s a good time to ask ourselves if there’s a better way to recognize symptoms and do something before it’s too late.
Psychotherapy team seeks bereaved parents who will help them test a new method of treatment. While the loss of any loved one is a tragedy, parents having to bury their children - at whatever age - is probably the most devastating. It is something for which no one can prepare, and unnatural, since the deceased were those they gave life to and who were supposed to have carried on their name to the next generation. Yet, especially in Israel, it is quite common due to terror attacks (130 children 18 and under killed in the past five years), war and, of course, accidents at home and on the roads.
My family lost our beloved son and brother, Eric Eliezer Levenson (z”l), in February 2016. He took his own life at the age of 28 after 14 years of suffering from severe depression.