A Well World: Acute Awareness

In these closing days of 2018 I have been thinking about the people who call The Well Community their place to belong. And I’ve been thinking about what their year might have been like if we hadn’t been able to offer this safe, welcoming place and these much-needed services to our members.

It’s a sobering reflection, which leads me to two other thoughts:

First, how real it is that without support of individuals, churches, community groups and foundations, The Well would not exist. That would mean the people who belong to the Well—who struggle with severe and persistent mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or major depression—would continue to be overlooked and un-served.

People like…

  • Fred* who might have had no one to call on last month to talk about his plans to end his life (but he had someone to reach out to because our staff were available to him).
  • Sharon who may not have been able each month to keep her psychiatry appointments (but she did because funds were there to help with bus passes).
  • Leslie who would have surely suffered abuse as she spent her days in parks or curbsides (but instead she spent many of her days safely enjoying the activities at The Well).

Without support from people who care, all our members would have likely continued in the tragic path of isolation, bombarded daily by stigma and ridicule.

My second thought was the acute awareness that mental illnesses, though treatable, are not yet curable. But at The Well, our members have the support they need to live stable and productive lives—filled with dignity and hope. As we look ahead to 2019, I am also aware that to keep our doors open, to provide services and offer compassionate care, we’ll still be depending on the generosity of you and others.

And so, as one year ends and another begins, I hope you will consider making a special gift to help us be sure The Well Community continues to be a place to belong.

With thanks, 

Alice

* names are changed

Please click here to give online or mail check, made out to The Well Community, 125 Sunset Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75208.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about The Well, mental illnesses and how you can make a difference in the lives of those who struggle with them and their families.

Basic Blessings

Like many of you, my Thanksgiving Day tradition includes taking some time to count my blessings. So many are obvious: good health, loving family, ample food, a warm home, faithful friends, a great neighborhood, an uplifting church, meaningful work. I suspect most of those items are on your list, too. In fact, for most of us, if we’re not careful to stop and take inventory from time to time, we’re likely to take those good gifts for granted. Continue reading

A Well World: Beyond Awareness

Through the efforts of many advocates, thankfully there is a growing awareness of mental illnesses and the struggles of those who live with them. But, on its own, just knowledge of the hurdles faced by individuals living with mental health conditions doesn’t necessarily provide help.

I talked with our members about what others could do to provide support and encouragement. It turns out, there are many ways to assist that aren’t really complicated or take a lot of effort. I’ve made a little list of some simple ways to move beyond mere awareness and into action. Continue reading

A Well World: Thanks for Giving Day

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

A Well World: Trapped by Circumstances

“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

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

A Well World: Volunteer Appreciation

Someone, somewhere, declared the month of April to be “Volunteer Appreciation Month.” I think that’s a cool idea—sort of. I mean, it is great to take time to make sure that we express appreciation to those who give their time to help others. But at The Well Community, we sure hope our volunteers experience our appreciation every time they are with us, not just as an annual “thank you.” Continue reading

A Well World: Retreat Into Hope

March 2018

I love this time of year. Not only do we get to enjoy the beauty of spring and the pleasure of moderate temperatures, we also have the fun of springtime traditions: egg dying and hunting, games and parties.

Spring also brings my favorite Christian holiday, Easter. There is so much hope in the Easter story. Easter reminds us that where God is there is life. If the dead can be raised then hope can be renewed, the sick can recover and the broken can be restored.
Continue reading