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Spread Joy

Gila Hammer z"l was only 18 years old when she died from suicide. She always looked for new ways to help those around her as she loved to SPREAD JOY.

Spread Joy, named after Gila - which means JOY in Hebrew, is a division of Makom Meshutaf / United Place, which promotes mental health awareness and suicide prevention through inspirational seminars, informative courses and publicizing materials, empowering people of all ages to break stigmas and convey empathy.

Spread Joy Initiatives

Gila’s Way

A series of presentations which focus on breaking stigmas throughout Israel (including in the IDF and Pre-Military Academies) and communities worldwide. The presentations address mental health and suicide awareness by reviewing Gila's personal and tragic story in order to inspire, inform and educate.

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MHFA
Mental Health First Aid

The Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course originates in Australia. The course helps people identify mental health problems and offer first response to a suicide crisis until appropriate professional ‎support and the crisis is resolved.


Israel is now the 29th country that offers the course. We have certified 12 instructors in Israel who can administer the course.

To date Spread Joy has completed offering four four-week courses.

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Spread Joy is an address for consultation. People whose children are suffering from mental illness are confused

and feel helpless. Spread Joy listens, reviews and transmits information to trained Psychologists who we partner with. These Psychologists are sent to the individual’s home to meet with the patient and their family in order to construct a strategic plan of action towards recovery.

The plan focuses on how to encourage hope by keeping

the patient relevant in a community and developing

their self-esteem.

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Social Media

Rabbi Hammer, founder and director of Makom Meshutaf and Spread Joy, posts informative articles and insights,

as well as educational videos every day on social media to engage people in the conversations revolving around

mental illness and suicide awareness and to encourage suicide prevention.

These posts and information have proven to be of significant assistance and in some cases have saved lives.

Spread Joy for Gila
Campaign

March 28th would have marked Gila’s 21st birthday.

Spread Joy will be disseminating flyers, leaflets, stickers,

and signs asking people to check in with others around them as we create an “r u ok?” day in the city of Bet Shemesh.


The campaign will take place all around the city of Bet Shemesh where Gila grew up and where her family still resides; and will impact other cities and campuses to do the same.

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Gila Spreads Joy
Book Series

A book series for children 5-10 years old.

These five animated books are a series based on true stories about Gila and her love for people, her family, animals, neighbors, and friends.

Each story includes questions which teach children empathy and kindness.

On the Horizon

Spread Joy plans on introducing and incorporating presentations specifically geared for adolescents on mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
 

Courses include:

Safe Talk

A 3 hour course which enables people 15 and above to approach and discuss suicide with someone who may be

in crisis.

End the Silence

An hour-long course geared for high school students by which they interact with a presenter as well as with someone who is suffering from a mental illness followed by a Q&A session.

Plans include introducing these courses into Israeli schools, youth groups, pre-military academies and IDF soldiers.

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Some of the venues "Spread Joy" has visited include:
  • The Hebrew University Humanities and Psychology Departments Jerusalem
  • Ichilov Hospital nurses division
  • MADA paramedics course
  • HATZALAH ambulance corps
  • The University of South Africa
  • Jewish Family Services of Cape Town
  • 31 Pre-Military Academies and 84 communities throughout Israel.
"It amazes me how you manage to help others through Gila's z"l passing and how you give other parents the strength and insight to help recognize their kid's suffering; encouraging them to seek help."
 
Tova Cohen,  Israel