UMatter is a program focused on empowering teens to shatter the stigmas surrounding mental health challenges and suicide. It operates within the Friendship Circle family and is led by Teen Director Rabbi Yarden Blumstein. After recognizing a need for a larger discussion about mental health in the Detroit community, Friendship Circle created a teen advisory board to work on projects that would go on to create an atmosphere of inclusion within the community.
UMatter, built upon this idea, aims to create a safe, positive environment where teens are able to open up about their own mental health and grow with their peers. Under the guidance of Rabbi Yarden Blumstein, UMatter operates on a peer-to-peer model of teens helping their peers overcome stigmas and other obstacles related to mental health.
UMatter is proud to be working with AKFSA
Andrew Kukes Story
Friendship Circle recently partnered with Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety to expand its reach and scope of its projects. UMatter is proud to be working with AKFSA to help tell Andy’s story and to spread the word that UMatter.
Andrew Kukes’s eight year battle with severe depression ended on July 14, 2009 when he took his own life at only 30-years-old. Most of his young adult life Andy suffered from social anxiety, an often misunderstood disorder, which brought on the common co-occurring condition of depression.
The Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety was founded by Andy’s parents, Patricia Kukes and Jeffrey Kukes. It is their hope that with proper education, awareness and support, other families will benefit and be saved from the pain caused by the loss of a loved one, and that those who suffer from social anxiety can find balance and peace in their lives.
SafeTALK is a half-day training in suicide alertness
Safe TALK Training
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.
UMatter Programs & Services
UMatter, built upon this idea, focuses specifically on teens that are struggling. Under the guidance of Rabbi Yarden Blumstein, 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 teen support program that occurs weekly at Friendship Circle and other locations in the area. Teens gather in small groups to have an open conversation about mental health centered around topics such as perfectionism, vulnerability, body image, boundaries, conflict, and more, in a safe environment. Teen Talks are a free program open to all teens in the metro Detroit area.
If you or someone you know are interested in joining teen talks, please email Courtney at [email protected]
Teen Director[email protected] (248) 788-8888 ext. 208
UMatter Program Coordinator[email protected]
Volunteer Coordinator[email protected]
Assistant to Rabbi Yarden Blumstein[email protected]ndshipcircle.org