UJA-Federation of New York’s Northern Westchester Women spent a powerful morning with Randi Silverman, writer and producer of the film No Letting Go. After a screening of her film, which draws on her personal experience having a son with bipolar disorder, she fielded questions from women in the audience, providing inspiration with her courage and openness. The event took place on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center.
Given that 1 in 5 children suffers from a diagnosable mental health condition, Silverman was determined to give voice to the millions of families who suffer alone and in silence. Made to inspire community dialogue about childhood mental illness and its impact on families, the film takes viewers on a challenging ride from which they emerge with hope and inspiration about never giving up or letting go.
“The more we know, the better, because there is treatment available to help those who struggle with these issues. Among the areas that UJA-Federation supports, mental health ranks high. Of the 80 core partners and hundreds of other nonprofits we fund, many address mental health challenges and well-being,” explained event chair Tracy Stein of Chappaqua.
“Right here in Westchester, many of our core partners — the Jewish Child Care Association, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, and Westchester Jewish Community Services — provide a lifeline for those desperately need the programs and services they provide.”
Brenda Haas of Briarcliff Manor, a program coordinator for Mental Health GPS (Guiding Parents through Services), spoke to the group. An initiative of UJA-Federation and Westchester Jewish Community Services, Mental Health GPS is a confidential consultation service designed to assist Jewish families who have questions or concerns about their child or adolescent’s social, emotional or behavioral development and well-being, with a focus on mental health needs.
Funds raised at the event go to UJA-Federation, which supports a network of more than 80 core partners and hundreds of other nonprofit organizations, large and small. These nonprofits provide food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, independence for the elderly, jobs for the unemployed, as well as stimulating education programs for people in New York, in Israel, and in nearly 70 countries.
In addition to Stein, event chairs included Jodi Baretz of Millwood, Mindy Bass of Chappaqua, Michele Budoff of Goldens Bridge, Jill Cantor of Chappaqua, Heidi Israel of Millwood, Jessica Morgenthal of Armonk, and Tracy Stein of Chappaqua.