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Pure Friendship for Individuals with Special Needs


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UMatter is built upon Friendship Circle’s mission and the idea that none of us are complete unless all of us are included. The UMatter message is twofold: you, as a person, matter unconditionally, and you, as a person, matter to someone else. Through our programming, UMatter empowers teens to support their peers struggling with isolation and teaches individuals the strength in seeking help. Led by Rabbi Yarden Blumstein, UMatter aims to foster a safe environment where teens can open up about mental health and grow together. The initiative operates on a peer-to-peer model, helping teens overcome stigmas and other obstacles related to mental health.

With support from The Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety (AKFSA), UMatter hosts UMatter Weeks, spreading the message that mental health deserves the same attention as physical health. The Andrew Kukes Foundation was established in memory of Andy Kukes, who took his own life after struggling to find the right diagnosis and treatment for his social anxiety. The foundation aims to help families understand the importance of being aware and involved in the mental health of their loved ones. Early intervention is critical, especially during the challenging transitions from middle school to high school and high school to college, to help teens cope with mental health issues.

“The very fact that you are here, in this place, at this time and with these opportunities available to you, means that there is something to be done - something that only you can do, something of utmost importance to G-d.”

- The Rebbe
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UMatter Programs & Services

Contact UMatter

Yarden Blumstein

Teen Director

[email protected] (248) 788-8888 ext. 208
Courtney Jones

UMatter Teen Coordinator

[email protected]