Apr 28, 2023
Episode 40: A Cry for Help: Breaking the Stigma on Mental Illness
Though Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann’s son, Mint, had faced anxiety and depression before, his cry for help was as alarming as it was unexpected. The teen was thinking about ending his life. Yet by going to his parents, Mint was able, ultimately, to get the help he needed. On Rosh Hashanah, this past year, Rabbi Herrmann shared this most personal of stories to make a larger point: there’s an ongoing stigma around mental illness. As long as the stigma pervades, people's lives are at risk. (The stigma, and concerns for her son’s privacy, were reasons she hadn’t shared much of this publicly before.) In this expansive interview, Herrmann focuses particularly on trans youth and how political attacks on transgender rights could have devastating mental health consequences. She also shares how her NYC congregation responded to her sermon, how things are starting to change there, and what she thinks needs to happen in other Jewish communities. At the episode’s outset, Rabbi Jacob Staub, the show’s executive producer, offers poignant framing about the topic of mental health.
Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/miriammarglesandthehadarensemb
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This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at ReconstructingJudaism.org (https://ReconstructingJudaism.org). Special Guest: Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann.