A Well World: An Overflow of Gratitude

In this season, even more than usual, I see blessings at every turn. As many of us prepare for Thanksgiving feasts and begin to buy gifts to show appreciation for loved ones, gratitude is a prevailing theme, and this focus makes it even easier to see the many things for which we are deeply thankful.

As I reflect on the ways The Well has been blessed recently, I feel gratitude bubbling up inside me for the many who give their time and their resources so that those in our community who live with serious mental illnesses have reason to give thanks as well. Continue reading

A Well World: Language of Hope

Yesterday The Well was given a gift that prompted not only gratitude but a deep sense of sadness: 600 pairs of shoes, each representing a life lost to suicide in the Greater Dallas area in 2018. This is The Well Community’s sixth year to be the recipient of these shoes, which are donated for the Greater Dallas Suicide Prevention Coalition’s Suicide Awareness Day, and each year we receive them with heavy hearts. Continue reading

A Well World: Beyond Poverty

It’s a fact: Severe mental illness is a thief. It robs people of their potential, their future and often their ability to function with the day-to-day things of life. It takes away dignity and strips self-confidence. Many are left without the capacity to earn a living, find secure housing or take care of personal needs. Continue reading

A Well World: Love Thy Neighbor

Participating in a church leaders panel discussion on mental health several years ago, I was asked what Bible verse summed up my philosophy on serving those living with mental health conditions. I suppose some might have gone first to Jesus’ teaching about “caring for the least of these.” But I have always been uncomfortable with the application of that passage to this topic. It feels a little patronizing. Continue reading

A Well World: Looking Back

Most of the time, I’m a “looking forward” type of person. So it takes a bit of work for me to stop and look back. But every year we develop our annual report and that gives me a great reason to pause and remember.

We just released the 2018 Annual Report. Our theme is “Stigma-Free Zone” and we’ve included a couple of stories from our members who share how stigma has impacted them. We also tell about one of our volunteers, a retired police detective, who is helping our members rebuild the dignity that stigma has stolen. Continue reading

A Well World: Little Bit of Good

In the general population, one in 25 individuals experiences a serious mental health issue each year. At The Well, 25 in 25 experience the challenges of mental illness each day.

Severe mental health disorders have devastating effects on individuals and their families. Schizophrenia robs cognitive functions and communication abilities. Bipolar disorder wrecks havoc in its manic state and suppresses hope in its depressive state. All mental illnesses isolate and debilitate. Continue reading

A Well World: The Great Escape

 

It’s a rite of spring for our members: our overnight retreat to Mt. Lebanon Camp. They look forward to it each year like you and I do when we count down days for vacation or holiday breaks. You and I know what having a “time away” means for our outlook, our attitude, our physical energy. And if we are honest, we can admit that being able to regularly retreat into nature is foundational to our mental health. That’s also true for members of The Well Community—but perhaps even more so. Continue reading

A Well World: A Foundational Issue

 

As a friend of The Well Community, you know that we serve adults living with chronic and severe mental illnesses. And I hope you have also become aware that, because of those conditions, our members face many daunting and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

In our recent blogs, we have highlighted one of those challenges: homelessness. Nearly all of our members have been without safe and dependable shelter many times in their adult lives. In fact, even now, on any given night, more than a third of our members who attend regularly sleep in doorways, under bridges or just along the side of the road. Continue reading

A Well World: Charles Haley

There have been only few times when I’ve been completely blown away by someone’s courage and honesty. But I have to say that as I’ve been reading the biographical stories of NFL star Charles Haley, I have been incredibly inspired. The Dallas Cowboy Hall of Famer not only had the grit to become a five-time Super Bowl champ but even more remarkable, he has learned to manage bipolar disorder and become a spokesman, an advocate, a champion for mental health.

Continue reading