Mental health support and bereavement counselling focus at City Hall meeting

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Mental health support and bereavement counselling focus at City Hall meeting

Community leaders and synagogue movements have roundtable discussion hosted by the London Jewish Forum, including representatives of Jewish Care and mental health charity Jami

London Jewish Forum's virtual roundtable discussion
London Jewish Forum's virtual roundtable discussion

London City Hall officials have met Jewish communal representatives to discuss their support for mental health and bereavement counselling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic – and ahead of any second wave.

The roundtable consultation with the Greater London Authority (GLA), hosted bythe London Jewish Forum (LJF), included representatives from the mental health charity JAMI as well as Jewish Care, who also discussed ways to help with end-of-life care.

The role of councils in signposting faith-based bereavement care and mental health groups was “a key part of discussion” said attendees, which included councillors from across five London boroughs, as well as the Mayor of Barnet Cllr Caroline Stock and the Mayor of Haringey Cllr Sheila Peacock.

Also represented were the United Synagogue, Reform Judaism, Federation, Masorti, the S&P Community, the Jewish Bereavement Counselling Service, Bereavement Care (Harrow and Hillingdon), Bikur Cholim and Ahada.

JAMI chair Adam Dawson said: “It was very encouraging to see the GLA focusing on mental health in the wake of the pandemic. I’m hopeful we can turn this meaningful engagement into improved understanding and resourcing for the mental health of the London Jewish community.”

Deputy Mayor Debbie Weekes-Bernard said the emotional impact of lockdown and the loss of life due to the virus had “taken a huge toll on the mental health of many Londoners”.

She added: “We’re committed to doing what we can to offer our support during these challenging times, and, having recently met with the London Jewish Forum, I’m pleased that City Hall representatives were able to speak directly with the Jewish community to learn how we might best be able to help.”

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