A Well World: Family Needs

I’m guessing at least five times a week I get a call from a parent, sibling, spouse or friend who is looking for help for someone in a mental health crisis. The calls are panicked. The questions are desperate. They are looking for housing, for medical intervention, for compassion and understanding.

Some of the time I have answers handy. Most of the time I can refer them to local services. All the time I invite them to bring their loved ones to visit The Well once the crisis is over and the ongoing need for a caring environment begins.

In her prayer guide for families dealing with mental illnesses, Catherine P. Downing expresses 31 needs that are always on the minds of caregivers. Several of the concerns are ones The Well Community can address directly. Continue reading

A Well World: Reaching out

It’s a bit shocking when you think about it. In a 2021 research project* about individuals living in homelessness, 33 percent of all respondents self-identified as having mental health issues.

That means about one out of three homeless people are living each day not only with the challenges of poverty and insecure housing, but also with mental illnesses. What incredible obstacles they face! It can be nearly impossible to know where to turn for help and how to access that help. We want to change that. Continue reading

A Well World: Looking Forward

A few weeks ago, right before the to-go lunches were ready to be picked up, one of our staff members heard a great deal of commotion outside the big glass Well doors. She ran to see what kind of help was needed. But, instead of cries for help, she discovered gleeful laughter and hugging and chatting. You see, some of our members had not seen each other in months, but on that day happened to show up at the same time. Friendship, fellowship and fun are some of the most important “services” The Well provides.

It looks like the long, lonely COVID-19 journey may soon come to an end. Phew! Though still a few months off, we cannot wait until we can open the doors to the Community Life Center, nor can our members. Continue reading

A Well World: A Family for Everyone

I was so pleased recently when the seven residents of Jacob’s House piled into the van to go get their COVID-19 vaccines. They seemed genuinely glad to go on the outing, even if it was just a trip to the clinic together. In the van there was laughter and affirming comradery.

Seeing that reminded me of when my siblings and I were loaded up in the family car. There was some teasing and tussling, but there were also jokes and songs. You know, the kinds of things families do together. Continue reading

A Well World: Every One of You

I have to say, I liked snow a lot better when I was a child! Somehow, as an adult, the weight of responsibility is much heavier than the snow that piles up on rooftops. Thankfully neither Jacob’s House nor my own had any broken pipes. We did have to navigate around some power outages, but none that put anyone in harm’s way.

Last week, in the worst of the ice and snow, I cautiously asked on Facebook if anyone could tell me how the roads were. IMMEDIATELY, several friends responded and added, “Is there something we can do for you?” Well, yes. Jacob’s House needed its weekly groceries.

Quickly Cameron McSpadden, who assured us he could safely drive on the ice, offered to head out to shop, and Norma’s Café came to our aid once again, offering a bounty of food. Cameron graciously did the shopping, stopped at Norma’s to pick up their generous donation and then delivered it all to Jacob’s House.

Meanwhile, neither rain nor ice nor snow stopped the Sprinkle/Miles family from dropping off Sunday dinner for the men at Jacob’s House! Thanks to this fantastic family for being a blessing on our snowy Valentine’s Day.

At a time of serious concern, our friends and neighbors reminded us again that The Well Community is nestled in a loving, giving and caring larger community. God bless you, every one of you!


A Well World: Wonder-ful Land

After I got the news, I began to look through our photo archive. There were dozens of pictures of Delores, all with engaging smiles that made me chuckle amid my tears. One of our “original” members, she’s present in photos from Christmas parties, retreats, daily activities, Thursday Night Life services. Delores passed away this week from COVID-19, but she left behind family and the entire Well Community who experienced her generous love and enthusiasm for life. Continue reading

Well World: Love Never Fails

October weather in North Texas is notoriously unpredictable. Some days are carryovers from September’s high 90s. Others are cool, clear and crisp. Then come the rainy days—dreary and dark.

Many members of The Well Community experience moods like October weather—ever-changing and unstable. Mood disorders are among the most common types of mental illnesses and we see them often among our members. Typically the right medications, welcoming friendships, healthy food and consistent sleep can help “reset” a person’s mood. Continue reading

A Well World: A Suicide Prevented

It was early on a Sunday morning and I was just debating whether I had the energy to make it to church after a late-night event when a text came through that jolted me fully awake. It was from one of the men at Jacob’s House, The Well’s City of Dallas licensed boarding home. Stuart* was letting me know he had plans to end his own life.

I immediately tried to call him back, but there was no answer. I called an emergency service, but they were not able to reach him either. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, I quickly headed over to Jacob’s House. Thankfully, after a being awake all night, Stuart had fallen asleep. I left a note for him to call me when he woke up. Then I went to church. Continue reading