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The JFS team works on our mission of enhancing the quality of life of individuals and families of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds. We do so through three pillars – Service, Compassion, and Education.

Historically, we’ve provided service, compassion, and education mainly through our individual mental health counseling and social service programs.

But recently, we’ve seen a shift in one of the pillars – Education.

In the past year, through our work with the San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative and partnering with the Spurs organization on their inaugural Mental Health Awareness Night, I’ve seen a shift in our community needing/wanting more open dialogue about mental health.

People crave it. They want it.

One of the many ways JFS could be of service to the greater San Antonio community is to provide more educational opportunities in relation to the subjects of mental health and wellness. Education outside of your typical counseling session.

Then Comes COVID-19

photo of JFS staff talking on a recent online presentationWhen the pandemic started, I received many calls from friends and family talking about anxiety related to COVID-19 and all of the unknowns. Anxiety is an old friend of mine, and I knew JFS could provide a safe place for people to learn about what they are feeling (physically and emotionally), and talk about how they can use anxiety to be stronger in the future.

The presentation, “Anxiety in the Face of a Pandemic,” was created and has taken wings. Kristy Dean, JFS Chief Clinical Officer, and I are working together these days to answer the many calls from people who are wanting this presentation.

Since the pandemic started in late March, we have spoken to 25 different groups and anticipate we’ll reach another 25 groups by the end of the year. We’ve spoken to volunteer clubs, educators, private groups, volunteers, Jewish agencies, temples, corporations, and government groups from all over Texas.

We could not be more inspired by the groups and individuals who have shared their own experiences with us through these conversations.

Keeping a Pulse on the Community’s Needs

Our team is staying on top of mental health research, the needs of the community, and what is happening with the pandemic so that we can continue to provide support that is so desperately needed right now. Since we are out there providing new mental health programs – in schools, the foster care system, for teachers, with city partners – all of this helps to keep us in the know of what people are wanting to learn about right now.

In fact, because of feedback we’ve received from these partners, we are in the process of developing a new presentation about resiliency and hope.

In doing the anxiety presentation, we’ve become more vulnerable as people.

We share our vulnerability so people don’t feel so alone. This is why we do so many of these presentations – so those who attend our presentation don’t feel alone. So they understand the importance of taking care of themselves mentally during an enormously challenging time.

It has been a privilege – a beautiful and wonderful privilege – to offer these new services to all of you. Through this process, I’ve realized even more the importance and impact of our three main pillars – service, compassion, and education – have on our resilient community.

I could not be more proud!

~ All my best, Talli

 

Upcoming Events

In September, JFS will offer two new education opportunities that you won’t want to miss.

  • September 10 – Kinship Care 101 will allow grandparents raising grandchildren to learn about resources available to them, such as tax and health benefits, mental health, legal documents and more. Learn more here>
  • September 15 – The COPE Series [Children’s Mental Health During a Pandemic] This new four-part series kicks off with a seminar focusing on challenges and opportunities with children’s mental well being. Learn more here>

 

Talli Goldman-Dolge is the CEO of Jewish Family Service. She is a very visible and vocal advocate for mental health awareness and programs in the San Antonio community, and is involved in similar activities on a national scale. Talli earned a B.S. Degree in Drama Therapy and a M.S. in Education and School/Community Counseling from SUNY (State University of New York). She has an outstanding history of leadership and service in counseling, as well as the hospitality industry, including Walt Disney World. Growing up in a family actively involved in Jewish affairs, Talli exudes passion for the value of Tikun Olam (repairing the world).