Chabad at UT Offers Suicide Alert Workshop | Shalom Austin

Chabad at UT Offers Suicide Alert Workshop

The Jewish Outlook

Nov 5, 2020

Student board member and safeTALK Ambassador Alex Meltzer strategizes with Rabbi Zev Johnson in a sukkah. Credit: Ariela Johnson

By Ella Steinmetz

The world’s challenging climate under lockdown has sparked a sharp increase in mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior. Many people, especially teens and young adults, are at a loss, wondering how they can help their friends and themselves during these trying times. To combat this crisis, the Rohr Chabad Jewish Student Center at the University of Texas, in partnership with Gelt Charitable Foundation, offered a free, evidence-based suicide prevention and mental health awareness workshop over Zoom Oct. 19.

“Suicide has become a prevalent issue in our communities in recent years, and has been further exasperated by this crisis,” shared Jack Miller, founder of the Gelt Charitable Foundation. “Suicide prevention education is crucial for our safety and well-being, and for the well-being of the people we care about.”

The workshop, taught by Leigh Ioffe, a certified safeTALK trainer, and mental health advocate, equipped participants with hands-on tools, knowledge and awareness to assist persons who may struggle with thoughts of suicide during this unprecedented crisis.

“It is crucial that our community come together to get trained and learn to recognize the signs of suicide,” shared Rabbi Zev Johnson, director of the Chabad Student Center at UT. “One hour in exchange for life-changing skills is one powerful step we all can and should take to create a safer, healthier community.” 

The Chabad Student Center at UT is grateful to the Gelt Charitable Foundation’s generous sponsorship for making this lifesaving workshop possible as well as to those on the student board: Alex Meltzer, Ben Levkovich, Gaby Souferian, Jacob Fridakis, Jacob Yarvis, Louis Cohen and Rachel Kallman. ■

Latest Posts

Celebrating Tu B’Sh’vat, The New Year For The Trees

Celebrating Tu B’Sh’vat, The New Year For The Trees

Tu B’Sh’vat, the New Year for the trees, will be celebrated this year on Monday, January 17, 2022 (the 15 day of Shevat). The holiday is celebrated during this time as it is when the sap begins to flow in the trees and fruit begins to form after a cold, winter...

Thank You for Keeping Us Strong

Thank You for Keeping Us Strong

Every day over the past month, I have been reflecting upon the antisemitic events occurring in Austin. They have been some of the most heinous we have ever experienced in this community. Shalom Austin will continue to respond and act because there is absolutely no...

Austin Community Responds to Recent Acts of Antisemitism

Austin Community Responds to Recent Acts of Antisemitism

 Interfaith Action Central Texas, along with ADL Austin, Shalom Austin, local congregations, elected officials, faith leaders, local law enforcement and representatives from local schools gather on the Dell Jewish Community Campus Nov. 1 to issue a statement in...