Building Resilience in 2020

JFS Delaware & JCC Hold the 4th Wellness Summit Virtually

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Time and life are unpredictable and 2020 has certainly shown us that anything is possible. Over seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, communities across the country and around the world are coping with stressors like many have never experienced before. Amidst this health crisis, unemployment is at an all time high, economies are suffering, education systems are scrambling, and families are living in tension while quarantined in their homes; uncertainty, anxiety, isolation, and depression are rising and, with additional stressors from a tumultuous election season and ongoing social unrest, it’s no wonder people are struggling to carry on with any sense of hope.

JFS Delaware is committed to making our robust services and resources accessible to everyone and quickly jumped into action with the Siegel JCC to provide a collaborative response to our community’s cry for help and connection.

On October 27-29, with support from Jewish Federation of Delaware and other community partners, JFS and the JCC hosted our 4th Wellness Summit virtually, to continue the community conversation on mental health through informative presentations, interactive Q&A sessions, and wellness activities.

The award-winning, collaborative program was created in 2018, in memory of JCC staff member, Sarah Segerstrom, who died by suicide at the age of 16. Thoughtful community partnerships with local health and wellness organizations helped our team create our vision and goals of opening up honest lines of communication around mental health and reducing the stigma around mental illness.

“When we lost Sarah, our friends at JFS showed up for us,” recalled Siegel JCC Brand Director, Anna Saul. “The Wellness Summit is the joint work of transforming tragedy into something meaningful. It is wonderful collaborating with an organization whose mission, like ours, is focused on strengthening community.”

Over the last three years, the Wellness Summit has continued to evolve and has provided a forum for sharing grief, learning about the impact of mental health, and finding ways for individuals, families, and the entire community to cope with challenges and heal.

Past Wellness Summit participants have shared their feedback and agree, “there is clearly a need to have actual conversations about mental health,” and, in the face of such unique adversities, there was no doubt another Summit could help the community connect and cope.

This Virtual Wellness Summit, focusing on resilience during challenging times, covered important mental health topics such as anxiety & coping with uncertainty, navigating change, stress & self-care, suicide prevention, isolation & loneliness, and more. Sessions and conversations were led by community professionals including licensed therapists and psychiatrists, public health professionals, and community educators and advocates; our team was joined by local partners and presenters from NAMI Delaware, the Mental Health Association in Delaware, Nemours, Christiana Care, Minding Your Mind, Albert Einstein Academy, and other nonprofit organizations and clinical practices.

“We are motivated—personally and professionally—to share the experts we call our friends and colleagues with the community at large,” shared JFS’ CEO, Basha Silverman. “This year’s summit was uniquely special—the virtual offering made the topics and interactions accessible for so many people who may not have had the ability or courage to walk into the auditorium and raise their hand if it was live, in person.”

The Wellness Summit’s virtual design made it possible for people throughout the state of Delaware, across the U.S., and even from other countries to gain hopeful insights and helpful resources which may otherwise not have reached them. Over 230 unique participants tuned in to hear the wisdom and wellness we had to share over 14 sessions; our thoughtfully planned conversations and carefully curated resources reached a curious and grateful audience and, due to our virtual platform and presence, remain online for more to hear, share, and explore.

“I needed this event, these speakers, and the information they delivered,” shared an enthusiastic attendee. “It felt accessible, appropriately anonymous for those who wanted that, and had resources available at the click of a button!”

Our resolve in 2020 to strengthen our community, provide resources, and help people thrive is stronger than ever. Our community and those we serve need and want to talk about mental health—how to help family members, friends, and themselves.

Inspired by the event’s success, a passionate Wellness Summit committee member reminds us all, “We need to keep talking about it to make inroads to ending the stigma and to give people—teens, parents, adults, educators, and all community members—the mental health care and support they need, want, and deserve.”


Need Help Now?

Call the Delaware Hope Line at 1-833-9-HOPEDE or text DEHOPE to 55753

Get started on your mental health journey with JFS. Therapeutic counseling and psychiatric services are available through secure telehealth options. Call 302-478-9411 or get started with our online intake form.


Virtual Book Fair

Thank you to the Hockessin Bookshelf for helping us curate some recommended mental health reading lists through!

Adult Mental Health Books>>>
Personal Growth & Self-Help Books>>>

Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and give back to the community. The Bookshop site, which launched in February, was created to help independent bookstores better compete for online sales and has successfully raised over 7 million dollars to support over 400 indie bookstores across the country.

When shopping this online bookstore, please make sure you see the Hockessin BookShelf* logo at the top left corner of your screen, so that your sales will be rung out through their affiliate page and directly support their local business. You can search for and purchase books that are not listed among our recommendations, just be sure you see the Hockessin BookShelf logo at the top prior to purchasing.

Learn more about the Hockessin Bookshelf at
View all the Hockessin Bookshelf’s reading lists at

*The Hockessin BookShelf is an affiliate of Bookshop and are not the ones fulfilling or shipping your orders! Please contact directly for problems with your order.