JCC to partner with BBYO to address mental health among adolescents
Mental health [illustrative]
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
The new initiative has come to fruition as issues such as anxiety and depression are becoming more prevalent in today's youth amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The JCC Association of North America and BBYO Center for Adolescent Wellness (BBYO-CAW) are partnering up to address mental, emotional and social health among adolescents, the two said in a joint statement.The new initiative has come to fruition as issues such as anxiety and depression are becoming more prevalent in today's youth amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.The program will "assess and address the preparedness and ability of five JCCs [Jewish Community Centers] across the country to support the needs of their youth members," the statement said. This is the first time the JCC has hosted a BBYO program (formerly B'nai B'rith Youth Organization) within its own facilities.
“JCC professionals are often on the front lines in observing what may be emerging issues affecting the well-being of adolescents,” according to Doron Krakow, president and CEO of the JCC Association. “This partnership is all the more meaningful in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. BBYO is the ideal partner for us, to ensure that we’ll be well-positioned to provide the services and support our teens may require.”Wellness center director Drew Fidler added: “Given the expected post-pandemic influx of activity from audiences with these potential needs, we understand how important it is for JCCs to be organizationally ready to support the youth populations they serve. Our goal is for this partnership between JCC Association and BBYO-CAW to further enable our Jewish communities to be a place where young people can thrive mentally, emotionally and socially.”The JCCs will use the assessment tools provided by BBYO-CAW to further understand how policies, procedure and training ensure safe environments for young members. It highlights best practices, local and national laws and guidelines from the CDC and American Camp Association.Following the assessments, BBYO-CAW will report back to the five JCCs to identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement, and will then assist the JCCs in making the proper changes, policies and procedures to foster a safe environment for adolescent youth. BBYO-CAW will also provide training to each JCC, in two customized sessions, covering topics such as mandatory reporting, building and maintaining boundaries with children and adolescents, identifying mental health red flags and helping JCC youth with mental health problems.The five participating JCCs will be the Meyerson JCC of Cincinnati, Ohio; the Bender JCC of Greater Washington, DC; the Michael-Ann Russell JCC in North Miami Beach, Florida; the Sandra and Leon Levine Jewish Community Center in Charlotte, North Carolina; and the Tuscon JCC in Tuscon, Arizona.