Heart of the Matter

As a new year begins, so does a partnership with the staff of Jewish Family Service and The Observer. The staff will be sharing this new column focused on issues of humanity. We will share with you our thoughts, opinions, and experiences as we continue to support our community through life’s transitions.

Last fall, we worked with volunteers to create an interactive art project that consisted of sharing feelings and experiences in response to specific prompts. We asked the community to participate by sharing personal information in a public space. I am pleased to report the community stood up, spoke up and shared their feelings and experiences. We heard your hopes for peace, love, and happiness. We heard about you surviving addiction, domestic violence, suicide attempts and sexual assault. We heard about your grief for deceased family and friends. We heard you are resilient, survivors and grateful.

My hope is that everyone will continue to talk about issues related to mental health and feel supported. We all have insecurities, areas for improvement and moments of not feeling well. Struggling with mental health does not indicate a weakness. It takes a strong person to be vulnerable enough to share these feelings so if you are entrusted with such information, listen carefully, provide support and help the person get the attention it might require.

Not only is it important to be supportive of others in distress, let’s strive to be kind with our actions and words every day. One small act of kindness can change a person’s mood and you may literally save a life.

The more we share with each other, the more hope there is for a brighter tomorrow.

Jewish Family Service is an independent 501(C)(3) agency that provides an array of services that include counseling, adoption, financial assistance, educational programming, support groups, children’s programs and senior programs. They serve all ages and have programs and services for everyone. If you have a need or a question, contact Toni Jacobsen at 615-354-1672 or Ashley Franklin at 615-354-1662. We are always happy to hear community members.

Toni Jacobsen, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and serves as the Clinical Director of the agency. You can reach Toni at tonijacobsen@jfsnashville.org or 615-354-1672.


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