For many Well Community members, faith provides a place of refuge and strength in the midst of the chaos of mental illness. But, as is the case for most who struggle with serious mental health challenges, getting away to rest and cultivate their faith is a luxury that’s out of reach. The Well Community’s twice-annual overnight spiritual retreats enable them to escape the noise of the city and provide time to reflect and regroup. Continue reading
It was a great day. One hundred nineteen people participated with The Well Community. Some of them were also among the more than 70 gathered to celebrate partnership, generosity and the hope for recovery. By the end of the day, $48, 249 in contributions were made by people who truly care. That total allowed us to also receive a $20,000 matching grant kindly provided by Shirlee and Charles Bealke, Vicki and Paul Cardarella, Kristi and Scott Coleman, Elizabeth and Ryan Schorman, Karen and Bret Schuch, Cindy Carpenter-Smith and Alice Zaccarello. Continue reading
It was a ceremony on the fourth floor of the Old Red Museum in downtown Dallas that no one should have to attend, but perhaps everyone should witness. It was the 10th annual Suicide Prevention Day event hosted by the Greater Dallas Suicide Prevention Coalition. The program is held in honor of those who took their lives in Dallas county and surrounding areas each year. Displayed around the room were 565 pairs of shoes, representing every life lost to suicide in 2017. After the ceremony, all the shoes were donated to The Well Community. This is The Well’s fifth year to accept this generous donation. Continue reading
Suicide is an issue the church cannot afford to ignore. In a LifeWay Research study nearly a third of churchgoers said they’d lost a close family member or acquaintance to suicide. Of those, over a third said their loved one attended a church at least once a month prior to his or her death.
Those wrestling with suicidal thoughts and those who love them are in the pews of our congregations. Churches have a great responsibility and opportunity to reach out in compassion to those who are struggling. Continue reading
“Almost all poverty is fundamentally the result of a lack of options. It is not that the poor are lazier, less intelligent, or unwilling make efforts to change their condition. Rather it is that they are trapped by circumstances beyond their power to change.” When I came across this quote from Richard Stearns, President of World Vision U.S., I have to say I was stunned at how succinctly he captured the realities of the daily lives of many members of The Well Community. Continue reading
Rita, Viola and Sharon always sit together. Viola is Sharon’s mother, and Rita is Sharon’s best friend. The Well Community is their meeting place. “Rita was my neighbor at the apartment building I lived in and invited me to come to The Well with her one day. She has been coming for years, but I joined about six years ago. We come here most days and talk to everybody,” Sharon says. Continue reading
For many of the 43.8 million people in America who struggle with mental health difficulties each year, the challenges of life just pile up. Mental illnesses, along with the tragic overlay of stigma, can contribute to other issues that make everyday living a grueling existence. At The Well Community we regularly assist members in confronting addictions and addressing concerns such as medical conditions, homelessness and poverty, any of which, without help, multiplies the sense of confusion and hopelessness.
Amid the poverty and through the challenges, The Well Community offers a place where adults with severe mental health conditions can find support. “We provide a community of hope and healing to these individuals. We give them an opportunity to gain dignity and self-worth, and encourage them to not give up on a system that makes hope seem scarce,” says Executive Director Alice Zaccarello.
Without care from family and friends, or without support from groups like The Well, many with severe mental health issues experience the compounding effects of poverty. They know how poverty cuts a deep gorge into possibilities for recovery. Those who have fallen under the weight of poverty have done so under a complex social system that has limited success in addressing basic needs. Continue reading
Almost half of the 60 million people living with mental health conditions in the United States go without any treatment according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). While many factors prevent those suffering from mental health challenges from seeking care, disparities in access to quality, affordable care play a major role. Continue reading
KIDOGO, KIDOGO HUJAZA KIBABA. It’s a proverb from East Africa and it means, “Little by little fills the measure.” I like it because it reminds me that multiple small actions, done with consistency and purpose, can have just as important of an impact as one big act. Continue reading
Donna grew up going to church. It is the place she finds companionship when she is lonely and the place where she can be with friends on the weekends. But mostly Donna loves going to Sunday school because there she is reminded of God’s love and keeps learning about Jesus. However, finding a church where she feels comfortable has sometimes been a challenge. Because she deals with mental health difficulties, it has been hard to “fit in.” But at Cliff Temple Baptist Church she’s found just the right class, one specially tailored for members of The Well Community. Continue reading