UMatter is built upon Friendship Circle’s mission and the idea that none of us are complete unless all of us are included. The UMatter message is twofold: you, as a person, matter unconditionally, and you, as a person, matter to someone else. Through our programming, UMatter empowers teens to support their peers that are struggling with isolation, and teaches individuals that there is strength in seeking help. UMatter operates within the Friendship Circle family and is led by the Director of Lifetown Programs, Rabbi Yarden Blumstein. After recognizing a need for a larger discussion about mental health in the Metro Detroit community, Friendship Circle created a Teen Board to work on projects that would go on to create an atmosphere of inclusion within the community.
UMatter aims to create a safe, positive environment where teens are able to open up about their own mental health and grow with their peers. UMatter operates on a peer-to-peer model of teens helping their peers overcome stigmas and other obstacles related to mental health.
TEEN SUPPORT PROGRAM
Teen Talks is a free, weekly support program that offers a safe place for teens (9th-12th grade) to talk with peers about what is going on in their lives and the things that impact their mental health. Teens from all over Metro Detroit meet to have open conversations centered around topics such as perfectionism, vulnerability, body image, boundaries, conflict, and more. This program provides a chance for teens to provide and receive support while learning coping skills, building resiliency, deepening the understanding of who they are, and connecting with a non-judgemental community.
TEEN MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Peer to Peer
Peer to Peer is a program that matches teens (8th-12th grade) in pairs to provide mutual mentorship and support for one another. Peers can offer information and advice, provide encouragement, act as sounding boards, serve as positive role models, and promote a sense of belonging. The program lets teens cultivate interpersonal and communication skills in addition to learning how to set boundaries and expectations in relationships. It is a mutually beneficial relationship, with both individuals giving and receiving support.
New pairings are made once per semester, with the program running for 9-weeks. Teens who miss the first session (Oct-Dec) are welcome to register early for the second session (Jan-Mar).
UMatter Programs & Services
SafeTALK is a half-day training in suicide alertness
SafeTALK is a three hour training in suicide alertness, through LivingWorks. This training allows participants to recognize when a person is having thoughts of suicide and how they can connect them with resources that can help them in choosing to live. Participants don’t need any formal preparation to attend the training. Find out how you can sign up for a SafeTALK training below.
The UMatter Week is a program that was initiated in high schools. It is a week long campaign that focuses on spreading the message that each individual matters. It consists of school assemblies, hall decorations, guest speakers on mental health, SafeTALK trainings, and more.