Readers Ask: Where Are Voices for Mental Health — and from Trump Supporters?


Screen Time a Prime Suspect

In voicing concern about whether or not we are doing enough when it comes to mental health, Joshua Runyan discusses the rise of suicidal thoughts among young people (“Are We Doing Enough When it Comes to Mental Health?” Sept. 7). He speculates that maybe the problem is one of resources, parenting techniques, values and so forth, and that, “in all probability, the problem is all of that and more.” I agree.

I also suggest that we look directly and urgently at the link between smartphone use and the rise of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues in young people. According to Rabbi Runyan, research shows that “those with a tight-knit social network … are less likely to attempt suicide and have better outcomes when facing failure and other challenges.” When people are immersed in their smartphones for hours and hours a day, who has the time for in-person interaction with a tight-knit social network?

Too much screen time isolates us, and leaves us ill-equipped to interact with others and to cope with life’s inevitable issues. The results can be devastating for young people with developing brains and limited perspectives. Restricting screen time can make us happier and healthier, and might even save children’s lives.

Pamela J. Yohlin | Dresher

Where are Trump’s Supporters?

For some time preceding the November 2016 election, the Exponent contained numerous editor letters, op-ed columns, and other material written by pro-Trump Jewish folks. At the time, I wondered about the motivations of these writers and questioned how they would tell their children and grandchildren about their views and open support for the man who became the president.

Since Jan. 20, however, I don’t recall seeing any written material from these pro-Trump folks. They seem to have remained relatively quiet, even in the face of Trump’s remarks following Charlottesville. I would have to assume that their primary concern was the welfare of the State of Israel, or maybe even, as some have said, their disdain for so-called liberal domestic and international policies of the Democrats.

All that said, I recall that Moses said of God: “He visits the iniquity of the fathers on their children.” I can only hope that my children and grandchildren don’t suffer because of the misguided judgements of pro-Trump Jewish conservatives. In the end, they will see that Hillary and the Democrats would have been no worse for Israel or America than Trump and the Republicans. Like Hillary or not (and I don’t), for me, my country comes first. Donald Trump was never, I repeat, never even on the map.

Frank Friedman | Philadelphia

Clearing Things Up

I was pleased to see you publish Ann F. Lewis’ thoughtful piece on Zionism and feminism (“I Did Not March for Hate,” Aug. 17). Please note the correct name of the organization she heads, however, is JAC Education Foundation.

The JAC Education Foundation is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to education and communication for the American Jewish Community. We work to educate and empower our members and to protect and maintain Jewish values in addressing current American issues.

Betsy R. Sheerr | Vice President, JEF


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