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

Three Factors That Make Safe Housing a Challenge

Three Factors That Make Safe Housing a ChallengeA stable, affordable place to live can make a big difference in a person’s ability to pursue recovery while dealing with metal heath challenges. As Mental Health America of Greater Dallas states, “Safe, decent, clean housing is a key factor in recovery for individuals with mental illness.” But, for many, this housing is elusive. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), individuals dealing with mental and/or substance use disorders are often particularly vulnerable to becoming homeless or being precariously housed (they either have no shelter or they live in crowded apartments with friends or acquaintances in untenable situations and move often).  Continue reading

Your Church and Mental Health

Your Church and Mental HealthNearly 20% of Americans are impacted by mental health difficulties each year. And many are sitting in the pews of your church. Did you know that?

While churches typically stand at “high alert” to be attentive to members facing urgent medical crises such as heart attacks, surgeries, cancer and major injuries, few are mindful of or equipped to support those managing a mental illness. Continue reading

Debunking Six Myths About PTSD

PTSD myth 3Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) impacts 3.5 percent of Americans according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. While the symptoms of this mental health issue, such as hypervigilance, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares and trouble concentrating, are relatively well-known, many myths about PTSD are also prevalent. These misconceptions contribute to stigma, and can prevent those who are suffering from seeking help. Continue reading

A Well World: Why We Use “Community”

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REFLECTIONS FROM ALICE ZACCARELLO, Executive Director

As you know, the name of our organization is The Well Community. We don’t call it The Well Club House or The Well Agency or The Well Ministry, though those names could be appropriate. The name is The Well Community.

The main reason for the word “Community” is that community, family, belonging, is the best therapeutic resource we provide. Being a part of the lives of others, and having caring friends who listen, pray and encourage is a foundational aspect of mental health recovery. People at The Well are members of a supportive and inclusive community.

However, there is a second reason we use the word “Community.” Continue reading

Busting 10 Myths About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Myth 4Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness that impacts approximately 5.7 million Americans every year. It causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood and energy. These highs and lows, known as mania and depression, impact the ability to think and function.

Misconceptions about bipolar disorder abound, and many aren’t harmless misunderstandings. Below are 10 common myths that hurt those dealing with bipolar disorder—and the facts. Continue reading

Mental Disabiliy is Not a Fad – Editorial from the Miami Herald

Leonard Pitts: Mental disability is not a fad

By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Published: 04 February 2015 10:16 AM

He had his first major breakdown when he was 26.  A man who had been known for his sunny, outgoing temperament became suddenly sullen, silent and withdrawn. He spoke openly of suicide. It got so bad that a couple took him into their home to ensure he did not hurt himself.

His second breakdown was a few years later. He could not get out of bed. He lost weight and became emaciated. Again, he talked about killing himself. One friend was alarmed enough to confiscate all his razors.

“I am now the most miserable man living,” the depressed man wrote. “If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth.”

Luckily for him, Abraham Lincoln did not write those words to Tom Sullivan. Sullivan, a Fox “News” Radio host, hasn’t much patience for claims of mental disability. At least, not to judge from his dismissal last week of a caller who told him she has bipolar disorder. Continue reading