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Youth Mental Health

On Sunday July 30, 2023 The North Shore Synagogue hosted a forum on The Crisis in Teen Mental Health.

The Forum featured The North Shore Synagogue's scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Shalom Hammer. In 2019, Rabbi Hammer's daughter, Gila, tragically took her own life. He decided to speak out about his family's terrible loss in the hope of preventing others from experiencing suicide.

Also on the panel are: Professor Garry Walter AM, child, adolescent and adult Psychiatrist of international renown, Prof. Walter is affiliated with The University of Sydney, where he has served as Professor at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine and as Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry;

Dee Fittinghoff, Psychologist at Moriah College; and

Emma Cohen, coordinator of the community's Suicide Prevention Strategy at JewishCare.

Thanks to  Alexi Boyd for facilitating the session.

Thank you to our co-sponsors for this important event; Kehillat Masada, Masada College and the Board of Jewish Education.


There are a wide variety of services to help youth in crisis:

24/7 crisis lines

You can call these crisis lines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Emergency 000

If you or someone you are with is in immediate danger, please call 000 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.

Beyond Blue

Talk to a trained mental health professional any time of the day or night. Calls are confidential. They will listen, provide information and advice and point you in the right direction to seek further support:



24-hour crisis support telephone service. Lifeline provides 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services.


Kids Helpline

A telephone counselling support line for children and young people ages 5 to 25 and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


NSW Mental Health Line

A mental health professional will answer your call about mental health concerns for you or someone you are concerned about, including children, teens, adults and older people.


Suicide Call Back Service

National services that provide free 24/7 phone, video and online professional counselling to people who are affected by suicide.



headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25-year-olds.  They help young people, and their family and friends, access vital support through services across Australia, their online and phone counselling services,  vocational services, and their presence in schools.  


Jewish Care Mental Health Support

JewishCare specialises in psychosocial supports including psychosocial recovery coaching.

Their trained professional staff provide a range of practical and emotional support to individuals. This can include assistance with employment, housing, finances as well as access to clinical support and where appropriate, referral to other organisations. JewishCare also provide Mental Health First Aid training – part of the Jewish Suicide Prevention Strategy.

KYDS Youth Development Services

For information on Ryan Abramowitz's book, Elegy for an Elephant, click here


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