The Weight of Poverty

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

Four Things to Know about Mental Health Parity

Four Things to Know About Mental Health Parity

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

Learning Together

Learning Together - Charles and Connie

Well Community Members Charles and Connie

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

With Flair: Honoring Ann Tabony

We are so thankful for our volunteers at The Well, and were happy recently to join The Well Auxiliary in honoring Ann Tabony, who has been teaching art classes to our members for a dozen years. Though not trained as an art therapist, Ann’s warm encouragement and patient coaching has not only given our members new outlets to express their thoughts and feelings, but has also uncovered hidden artistic talents in several members. Here’s a glimpse of the event and some older photos of Ann with her “students” and exhibits of their work.

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A Well World: The Unnoticed

June was a sad month in the world of entertainment. The tragic losses of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade left many wondering, again, how could people of such success, wealth and influence take their own lives? The media covered the events well, with compassion and education. They highlighted the difficult truths around depression and suicide in the United States such as:

  • An estimated 16.2 million adults (6.7%) had at least one major depressive episode in 2016.1
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death.2
  • On average 123 Americans take their lives each day.3
  • Approximately 1.3 million adult males attempt suicide each year.4

Continue reading

Best Three Hours

Volunteer James Barclay (right) with Well Member, Todd

“It is the best three hours of my week,” says James Barclay, who, after 34 years with the Dallas Police Department, found a different way to serve the Oak Cliff community in his retirement.

James helps with lunches for members of The Well Community every Tuesday. Each week he stands at the door and shakes hands with members who deal with severe mental illnesses. “They always light up when you say their name and smile at them. Some of them have the greatest smiles, but no one knows it because no one takes the time to acknowledge them.” Continue reading

Four Everyday Steps That Fight Anxiety

Four Everyday Steps That Fight AnxietyAccording to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, anxiety disorders (which include conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and phobias) are the most common mental health problems. In addition, anxiety is a common symptom of many other mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder and PTSD. Nearly everyone with a serious mental health challenge experiences anxiety to some degree. Continue reading