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Date: 2003
Abstract: Background: Jewish culturally supported beliefs may discourage drinking and drunkenness as ways of socialising and coping with stress. Thus Jewish men under stress may be relatively more likely to become depressed, and less likely to use and abuse alcohol. This study is the first qualitative comparison of Jews and Protestants, men and women. It examines whether alcohol-related beliefs are consistent with the alcohol-depression hypothesis, i.e. that positive beliefs about alcohol use and effects are associated with high alcohol use and low depression. Material and discussion: A thematic (interpretive phenomenological) analysis on open-ended question responses, from 70 Jews and 91 Protestants, and on semi-structured interviews with five Jews and four Protestants, identified three salient themes: the importance of retaining self-control; the pleasures of losing inhibitions; and the relations of alcohol-related behaviour to identity. Compared to Protestants, Jews described alcohol-related behaviour as threatening to self-control, loss of inhibition as unenjoyable and dangerous and distinguished between the kinds of drinking behaviours appropriate for Jews and others. Sub-themes for Protestant men were denial that drinking threatens self-control, and appropriateness of going to the pub. Conclusions: The themes identified are not measurable using published research instruments. Alcohol-related behaviour may be a feature of Jewish identity. The beliefs identified are consistent with the alcohol-depression hypothesis.
Date: 2003
Date: 2000
Date: 2001
Date: 2004
Date: 1997
Abstract: This paper examined stress among two groups of orthodox Jews suggested to differ in the strength of the boundary of their religious group. Comparisons were made between the two groups, and with urban and rural groups studied by other researchers. Proportions of boundary-maintenance events (events whose threat had been caused or exacerbated by Jewishness) and of severe events, and proportions and rates of regular, irregular and disruptive events were examined. Boundary-maintenance events were higher among the more religiously orthodox affiliated group, and among whom religious observance was indeed reported to be higher. It was suggested that conditions of higher boundary maintenance would be associated with higher rates and proportions of regular events and with lower rates and proportions of irregular and disruptive events. Generally, the analyses supported this expectation. Boundary-maintenance events themselves were somewhat less severe, though not less likely to be irregular or disruptive than other events. Depression was shown to be unrelated to boundary-maintenance events and (surprisingly) unrelated to contextual threat when the effects of irregularity-disruption were controlled. Depression was, however, strongly related to irregular and disruptive events. The results are compared with those of related work, and suggest that the general lowering effect of affiliation to a religious group may be partly explained by the effects of boundary maintenance, which involves stress, but of a less depressogenic kind than the disruptive stress associated with conditions of low/no boundary maintenance. The findings have implications for understanding the relations between culture and mental disorder.
Author(s): Rowland, Gemma
Date: 2016
Abstract: Previous research suggests that children of minority groups may be underserved by
mainstream services (Elster, Jarosik, VanGeest & Fleming, 2003). There has been
an identified need for research that focuses on barriers to accessing services faced
by minority groups, such as the Orthodox Jewish community (Dogra, Singh,
Svirdzenka & Vostansis, 2012). Given that parents are often the gate-keepers to
care (Stiffman, Pescosolido & Cabassa, 2004), understanding their help-seeking
behaviour is crucial to ensure that Orthodox children and families are given the same
opportunities to access services as their majority group peers. To date there is
extremely limited research on the help-seeking behaviours of Orthodox Jewish
parents. The current study sought to consider the experiences of Orthodox Jewish
parents who have accessed Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
in order to seek help for their families.

Semi-structured interviews were completed with nine Orthodox Jewish parents with
regards to their experiences of accessing tier 2 CAMHS for their child. A thematic
analysis was conducted. Four themes were found: ‘The Orthodox community as
unique’, ‘Pathways to help’, ‘Attitudes towards mental health’ and ‘The parental
journey’.

Participants described a number of significant cultural barriers to seeking help.
Stigma was identified as occurring in relation to mental health and also in relation to
the process of help-seeking, as suggested by previous research within adult
Orthodox populations (Feinberg & Feinberg, 1985). These stigmas relate to
concerns regarding labelling and future matchmaking for the child and their siblings.
Parents experience emotional and practical strains in parenting a child with mental
health difficulties and in accessing psychological support for their children. The
implications for service level change and clinical practice are considered.
Date: 2017
Abstract: Background: The English National Health Service (NHS) has significantly extended the supply of evidence based
psychological interventions in primary care for people experiencing common mental health problems. Yet despite
the extra resources, the accessibility of services for ‘under-served’ ethnic and religious minority groups, is considerably
short of the levels of access that may be necessary to offset the health inequalities created by their different exposure
to services, resulting in negative health outcomes. This paper offers a critical reflection upon an initiative that sought
to improve access to an NHS funded primary care mental health service to one ‘under-served’ population, an
Orthodox Jewish community in the North West of England.

Methods: A combination of qualitative and quantitative data were drawn upon including naturally occurring data,
observational notes, e-mail correspondence, routinely collected demographic data and clinical outcomes measures, as
well as written feedback and recorded discussions with 12 key informants.

Results: Improvements in access to mental health care for some people from the Orthodox Jewish community were
achieved through the collaborative efforts of a distributed leadership team. The members of this leadership team
were a self-selecting group of stakeholders which had a combination of local knowledge, cultural understanding,
power to negotiate on behalf of their respective constituencies and expertise in mental health care. Through a process
of dialogic engagement the team was able to work with the community to develop a bespoke service that
accommodated its wish to maintain a distinct sense of cultural otherness.

Conclusions: This critical reflection illustrates how dialogic engagement can further the mechanisms of candidacy,
concordance and recursivity that are associated with improvements in access to care in under-served sections of the
population, whilst simultaneously recognising the limits of constructive dialogue. Dialogue can change the dynamic of
community engagement. However, the full alignment of the goals of differing constituencies may not always be
possible, due the complex interaction between the multiple positions and understandings of stakeholders that are
involved and the need to respect the other’-s’ autonomy.
Author(s): Law, Lisa
Date: 2003
Abstract: Much research recognises the clinical value of considering clients' cultural context. 'Cultural competence' may be considered the balance between sensitive practice and an awareness about particular cultural groups. 'Jewishness' is a powerful influence on the majority of Jewish people, regardless of religiosity. Jewishness incorporates more than Judaism, for example, it includes Jewish history, ethnicity and culture. This research aims to help therapists work with Jewish families by familiarising them with aspects of Jewishness, in order to gain insight to the 'lived experience' of contemporary, British, Jewish families, so as to consider the potential clinical implications of Jewishness and develop cultural competence. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight British-born, culturally, rather than religiously, Jewish mothers aged between 30 and 39. The interview transcripts were analysed using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis methodology. Ten themes (^entity', Tradition and Culture', 'Characteristics', 'Family', 'Community', 'Continuity', 'Difference and Similarity', 'Fear', 'Feelings' and 'Services') were derived from the analysis and considered in terms of clinical implications. For example, the women spoke about a (sometimes) inexplicable 'bicultural' identity and the significant impact of Jewish history. These issues may inhibit Jewish clients from speaking about the relevance of their Jewishness with non-Jewish therapists. Suggestions were made for developing a Jewish cultural, historical and political perspective, so that beliefs, behaviours and characteristics are not misinterpreted and 'therapeutic safety' for Jewish clients is maximised. Other recommendations included using cultural consultants and adopting a systemic framework. Issues that may be particularly difficult for Jewish families were discussed and recommendations for future research made.
Author(s): Rose, Esther Davida
Date: 2010
Abstract: Existing research and anecdotal accounts have consistently reported that Jewish people are positively inclined to seek treatment for mental health problems, including making use of psychiatric services and psychotherapy. However, much of this data has been based on samples of American Jewry and there appear to be no existing studies in the UK which have quantitatively investigated whether there are similar help seeking preferences for mental health problems amongst British Jewry. The present study investigated Jewish people’s attitudes and intentions to seek professional help for mental health problems and their experiences of seeking professional help in the UK. Using the theoretical framework of the Theory of Reasoned Action (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975; Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) the study also aimed to determine the strongest predictors of intentions and attempts to seek professional help, according to people’s attitudes, perceived social pressure, beliefs about the causes of mental illness and level of religiosity. The study included 126 Jewish people who were predominantly recruited from synagogues and community centres across the UK. Results indicated that a high percentage of this sample would be willing to see a mental health professional if they experienced a mental health problem. According to multiple regression analysis, attitudes towards seeking professional help and stress-related causal beliefs most strongly predicted intention to seek professional help. Despite the sample being non-clinically recruited, 63% of participants reported that they had experienced a mental health problem and the majority of these individuals had sought professional help in the past. Path analysis revealed that actual attempts to seek professional help were directly influenced by intention to seek professional help, perceived social pressure and supernatural causal beliefs. Given the high prevalence of mental health problems and use of professional mental health services amongst this sample, clinical considerations highlighted the need for preventative mental health strategies and culturally sensitive mental health services for Jewish people. Limitations of the study include the use of an opportunity sample which was unable to recruit members of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
Date: 2007
Abstract: The project was undertaken by Binoh of Manchester amongst its client group, The Orthodox Jewish Community of North Manchester. This is mainly based in the Broughton Park area of Salford with an overspill community in the neighbouring Bury and Manchester metropolitan areas. The community is ethnically compact, little known outside its location and buffeted by racial and economic problems. Different norms exist for acceptable music, literature, images and discussion material and mainstream culture i.e. television, films, magazines and internet use etc. is prohibited. The community’s growth over the last few years has been huge. High birth rates make the community ‘bottom heavy’, and it is estimated that the ultra-orthodox community is increasing its share of the Anglo-Jewish community by approximately 1.5% per year. The research uncovered a wealth of information that is central to understanding the mental health needs and concerns of the Orthodox Jewish Community. The foremost findings that emerged during the research were:

A distrust of non-Jewish professionals e.g. doctors, psychiatrists and nurses who were seen to be unsympathetic or ignorant of the community’s cultural and religious needs. Comments such as “most Non-Jewish Practitioners have no understanding of our community and therefore can make serious errors of judgement” were commonly made.
Fear of stigma attached to mental health issues. Although this is prevalent in many close knit and ethnic minority communities this was particularly prevalent within the community as it was associated with not obtaining suitable marriage partners for themselves, siblings, children or other family members. One questionnaire respondent even said that “stigma within the community is a greater concern to people requesting and accepting help (than gaps in current service provision)
Date: 2016
Abstract: From press release:

A ground-breaking survey commissioned by NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning (CCG) has revealed concerns about immunisation take-up, healthy eating, amounts of exercise and attitudes to mental health within the predominately orthodox Jewish communities in the city.
507 people took part in the year-long research project that included peer-led focus groups as well as questionnaires. Key findings reveal that less than half of the participants take more than one hour of exercise per week, with around a quarter taking less than 30 minutes. Only half meet recommended levels of physical activity, which is significantly below the England average of 61%. Fewer than half of respondents believe exercise is very important, with far fewer men than women valuing exercise.
There is particular concern related to men’s lack of exercise, with just over a third meeting the recommended levels of physical activity compared to 67% nationally. The percentage of women meeting recommending levels at 56% is comparable to the 55% of women nationally.
With regards to children’s exercise, only 40% think it is very important that their child exercises. Less than half the children do more than an hour’s exercise per week, with a third doing less than 30 mins per week. Boys tend to do slightly more exercise than girls (possibly because they play football or ride bikes), contra to what was reported as being undertaken by the adults themselves; the trend seems to be that boys are more active than girls but this switches as they become adults.
The research also suggests that the healthy eating message is not always getting through to this community; only 10% of children are getting their ‘5 a day’ with 40% getting less than 3 fruit or veg a day. Over half the children in this community seem eat cake at least once a day, though crisps and other unhealthy snacks seem far less frequent. Alcohol consumption for adults is, however, very low compared to the rest of the population, although 12% of respondents might be classed as ‘binge-drinkers’ on the Sabbath.
Attitudes to immunisation in the orthodox Jewish community remain a concern. 13% said they would be unlikely to immunise their child in the future whilst 20% felt they were not given enough information about immunisation. For Salford as a whole, MMR immunisation take-up by 5 years olds averages over 97% which is far higher than appears in the Jewish communities.
Take up of cervical smears is also lower than the rest of the population with 67% claiming they would be likely to have a smear compared to the 80% target in Salford. It is thought that some of the lower uptake of cervical screening may be due to the low perceived risk of HPV infection and cervical cancer, the higher number of pregnancies and religious norms relating to menstruation.
Other findings of interest include the fact that almost a half of participants believe that mental health is a big stigma within the Jewish community which may prevent many people seeking the help they need.
Date: 2010
Date: 2007
Abstract: The Community Engagement Programme has been part of Department of Health (DH) and
National Institute for Mental Health England (NIMHE) scheme, administered by the University of
Central Lancashire (UCLAN) through its Centre for Ethnicity and Health. In this round the over
arching aims were governed by central government priorities of Delivering Race Equality (RRE), to
enable Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community groups across the country to engage
community members (and not academics) in conducting their own research projects in relation to
mental health and race equality. As a direct result of this programme invaluable data, attitudes and
behaviours have been unearthed on the issue of mental health. Additionally in the process, many
"ordinary" community members have been given a unique opportunity to become part of the
academic world, learning about the planning, execution and actual research of the issues at hand
and some have also taken up the wonderful opportunity of qualifying in basic level research. In
respect of this report the BME was the Ultra Orthodox Jewish Community of Stamford Hill in North
London. The project was undertaken by Talking Matters, predominantly with its clients who use the
counselling and therapeutic services in its London office (there is also a Salford office). This was in
the heartland of the Chassidic community, reknown all over the world for its insular way of life,
even among other Orthodox Jewish Communities (OJC). Most of the OJC lives in the London
Borough of Hackney with about 10% in the south of Haringey.
Author(s): Tartakovsky, Eugene
Date: 2008