Partners in Prevention
The Challenge

The 21st century has been witness to the onset of tremendous social and technological change. The challenges we have begun to experience are extremely new and complex, including the dissolution of economic national boundaries, climate change, and tensions surrounding social media. This has all led to a deep concern for the development of our youth and their ability to become successful and thrive.

That concern, however, has primarily led to a hyper-focus on school grades, test scores, and individual achievement. Unfortunately, over the past two decades, we have found that this approach to achievement has resulted in increased rates of stress, sleep deprivation, and depression. Many youth react by developing a sense of meaninglessness and hopelessness – which they try to cope with by engaging in high-risk behaviors including drug and alcohol abuse, disordered eating, gambling, crime, and unsafe sex. The numbers are staggering. Alcohol is still the most harmful drug, with 45% of teenagers in grades 9-12 admitting to drinking (25% to binge drinking). Prescription drug abuse ranks next, with 25% of teenagers having done so at least once: between 2004 and 2009, ER visits relating to misuse of oxycodone rose 242%, hydrocodone 124%, and all pharmaceuticals 98%. And of the 38,329 drug overdose deaths in the US in 2011, 60% of them were caused by the misuse of prescription drugs. Anorexia and bulimia, with the highest mortality rate of any mental illness (10%), affect an estimated 10 million females in the United States, mainly adolescents. Self-mutilation is gaining in popularity, though it still affects only 1% of the teenage population.

Meanwhile, most parents are unaware of the extent of their own child’s stress or at a loss to how to help.

The Response

Partners in Prevention uses Jewish wisdom and values to strengthen positive development for youth and lower the risk that they will engage in unhealthy and even dangerous coping mechanisms. Drawing upon Beit T’Shuvah’s wisdom and approach to helping individuals live well by utilizing the spiritual principles of Judaism, authenticity, and honesty, Partners in Prevention works to accomplish the following goals:
  • Through relatable and down to earth relationships with our staff, we help youth and their families identify and gain acceptance of what they are experiencing and feeling during challenging life situations.
  • Through educational activities and the art of storytelling, we provide insight, confidence, and resources that enable youth and their families to grow in resilience and to act with integrity.
  • We raise awareness among parents about the genuine experience of their children and offer practical guidance and resources for addressing family challenges.
  • We help youth to utilize what they learn in order to work through life challenges without turning to drugs, alcohol, or other destructive addictive behaviors.
In sum, Partners in Prevention empowers our youth to make healthy choices through research-based educational programming, integrating both personal stories and Jewish spiritual principles. It has been shown to produce measurable growth in key areas associated with Positive Youth Development, including the ability to talk with trusted adults, improved peer relations and strengthened ability to avoid peer pressure, and growth in self-understanding and a sense of meaning and purpose.

Click HERE to download the Partners in Prevention Gilbert Evaluation.

Click HERE to download the brochure for the Elaine Breslow Institute

The Partners in Prevention program is made possible in part by the Jim Joseph Foundation through a grant made in honor of Rachel Joseph, Alan B. Slifka Foundation, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, The Green Foundation, Hazan Family Foundation, Hillside Memorial Park, Mount Sinai Memorial Park and Jewish Teen Foundation.

If you have any questions, would like to receive more information, or would like to set up a meeting, please feel free to contact Jessica at 310-204-5200 ext. 236 or

I happen to manage Beit TShuvahs account on the NEXTDOOR social media site. For those who arent ...(read more)

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