Mood Lifters is composed of 15 one-hour weekly meetings, currently over Zoom, where peer leaders teach strategies to improve well-being.
The Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit is offering a new, cost-free way to support an individual’s mental and emotional well-being.
Thanks to the Ravitz Foundation, Federation is partnering with the University of Michigan Depression Center to bring the Mood Lifters program to the Jewish community.
Mood Lifters is composed of 15 one-hour weekly meetings, currently over Zoom, where peer leaders teach strategies to improve well-being. Participants track progress, new behaviors and ways of thinking through the Mood Lifter’s app. In each of the 15 weekly meetings, participants learn science-based techniques and set individual goals.
The partnership was created when Todd Krieger, JFMD’s senior planning director, was at the U-M Depression Center and met Patricia Deldin, deputy director of the Depression Center and creator of Mood Lifters.
“She was talking about this program, and she characterized it as Weight Watchers for mental health,” Krieger said. “It was so interesting to see the impact she was having fairly quickly, and it was one of those things that stuck in my mind.”
Fast forward to January, when the Mood Lifters partnership officially began with the first session to help the local Jewish community.
“We’re a bridge where we provide the skills and the evidence behind those skills that help people reduce their anxiety and depression, but then we encourage them to make their own goals, set their own strategies and really do it on their own,” Deldin said.
Mood Lifters is designed to help everyone — from people who are experiencing significant anxiety and depression to those who simply want to learn new strategies to help them thrive.
Ashley Schnaar, JFMD youth mental health coordinator, said 117 community members have attended a meeting since the first session in January, and that they’ve been well received.
Krieger added, “It’s really a critical program and we know people are struggling, so we want to make sure we’re providing programs to help people live lives where they can be healthy from a mental health perspective.”
A new session begins Thursday, June 10, and ends Sept. 23. The meetings will take place on Thursdays from 12-1 p.m.
Five more sessions for summer and fall 2021 have also been added, with one beginning in July, two beginning in August and two beginning in September.