Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Big Data, Big Solutions

Eytan Kobre

The Jewish community has gotten used to relying on anecdotal evidence and conjecture when it comes to pressing mental health issues like depression, OCD, and anxiety. But that’s not good enough, says Dr. Yitzchak Schechter, so he’s built an institution utilizing big data to dispel the myths.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Everyone knows that religious people are at higher risk for obsessive-compulsive disorder.   Everyone knows that a great majority of kids-at-risk were abused.   Everyone knows that chassidishe people are more loath than others to seek help for mental health issues.   But what if what everyone knows… is wrong?   If Dr. Yitzchak Schechter, director of the Center for Applied Psychology (CAPs) mental health clinic at Monsey’s Bikur Cholim, has one message to convey to the frum community, it’s that to accurately answer questions like these, a little humility and a lot of data can go a long way. He’s determined to move the most important questions facing Torah-observant individuals, families, and communities — issues like how to stem the rising tide of divorce, what underlies the phenomenon of alienated frum Jews, and, if there is a shidduch crisis, what are the solutions — out of the realm of “Shabbos table talk” based on conjecture and spotty data, and instead expose them to the bright spotlight of rigorous statistical and analytical research, so that the community can make informed decisions and solve the problems it faces. To that end, he has created the ARCC Institute, which stands for Applied Research and Community Collaboration. The institute’s impact on both communal decision-making and the lives of real people is already being felt, one research study at a time.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you