It is too easy for the COVID-19 pandemic to be all consuming. Everywhere we turn – in the news, on the TV, on the chalk drawings on our community sidewalks…whoops, there it is. The proverbial “elephant in the room,” coronavirus, has made an impact on our lives in ways never experienced before.

Alpert JFS is talking about COVID-19, and helping the individuals and families cope. The agency’s behavioral health services — a team of professionals from licensed clinical social workers to psychologists, and psychiatrists — are available to clients via Tele Mental Health.

Nearly 60 people from the Greater Palm Beaches joined an online group discussion via zoom on April 2, 2020 with Alpert JFS Clinical Director Elaine Rotenberg, Ph.D. and Licensed Psychologist Iris Kiner, Psy.D. to learn more about “Coping with our New Reality: Social Distancing Without Isolation.”

Here are some useful takeaways from the session:

  • You are not alone in your feelings; everyone’s emotional well-being is “taking a hit.”
  • Give yourself permission to lower your expectations; the experience has brought a life with a loss of control, boundaries and structure.
  • Our household structure determines the way we are experiencing the health crisis. Do you live alone? Are you one-half of a couple? Do you have children in the house? Is your residence multi-generational? Each circumstance comes with its own distinct stressors.
  • Stressors you had prior to the pandemic have not gone away (though they have most likely been overshadowed).
  • Work towards creating a sense of support and normalcy with the following six BASIC PH* characteristics:
    • Beliefs/Values – attitudes, connecting to a religion or higher power
    • Affect – emotions, expression, listening skills, storytelling
    • Social – contacting friends and family, making connections
    • Imagination – art, creativity, humor, music
    • Cognition – information, knowledge, problem-solving, processing, reading
    • Physical – activities, eating, exercise, games, relaxation
  • Check out online resources for ideas of what to do with your down time, from virtual programming to community resources, online opportunities to work out, learn, and participate in kids and/or art projects or music lessons!


Be sure to join the next Coping Discussion Group on
Monday, April 13, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., and every Monday thereafter.
For more information, call
or visit


The entire team at Alpert Jewish Family Service wants you to know that you are not alone; we’re here for you – and your family – with nearly 30 programs to help people during challenging times.  Reach out to us by calling our Chai Line at 561-684-1991.


*Basic PH Model developed by Mooli Lahad, Director of The Community Stress Prevention enter Israel (Zanzere, 2004)

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