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I had the privilege of talking with Avremi Gourarie about the life of his daughter Yocheved, her struggle with an eating disorder, depression and her heartbreaking recent death.

On December 22, 2020, 24 year old Yocheved took her own life.

Yocheved was a kind and thoughtful person. Loved by all. She was a top student, always maintaining perfect grades in school and at the time of her passing, was in the process of applying to PHD nursing programs. Posthumously, the family learned that she was accepted at Columbia University in their DNP program on track to becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Unfortunately, her battle with mental illness raged, and she succumbed to it, not having fulfilled her dreams.

Avremi shared with me all that their family had done to support Yocheved throughout her struggle. She attended a Modern Orthodox High School, which was less restrictive than the Chabad school that she had previously attended. They assembled a therapy team, which included a stint at a residential facility specializing in eating disorders. Family and friends provided the needed financial support and other provisions so they could focus on helping her life improve.

The day of Yocheved’s death came as a surprise to Avremi, who thought she was being supervised and making progress. The Gouraries and their community are still grieving, processing, and continuing to learn more about mental health issues as they ask themselves the hard questions – What happened?

Avremi and I touched on so many important topics in this episode that we could not cover in such a short time. Stay tuned for more episodes covering such subjects of being the parent of a child battling mental illness, siblings of kids with mental illness, and how to balance religion with necessary treatments.

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Connect with Avremi:



“It was very important to my wife and I that we didn’t put religion ahead of cure.” @AvremiGourarie @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge

“There’s so much pain for [parents whose children have committed suicide]. There’s so much loneliness because they feel like failures and what they need to know that they’re heroes, heroes.” @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge

“She refused to consider going to any kind of nutritional counseling for eating disorder.”@AvremiGourarie @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge

“The reason, I suspect, is because an eating disorder is something that it gives them control of something. If you’re going to get nutritional support for it and they tell you, “You can’t do this, but you got to do that.” [The patient loses] control.” @AvremiGourarie @MatanaJacobs #HopetoRecharge


Topics Discussed

  • Eating disorders
  • Suicide
  • Parenting struggling teens/young adults
  • Religion and healing mental health


Suicide Hotlines:

USA: 1-800-273-8255
USA Crisis (Text): 741-741
Canada: 1-833-456-4566
United Kingdom: 116-123
Australia: 13-11-14
International Suicide Hotlines:


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