“God created us all in his image, which is love. I think the problem we have in mental and social health is that we don’t believe we are loved or lovable,” says Pastor Nita Allen of Oak Cliff Christian Church. She adds that we often don’t realize that God loves us intimately and wants us to become like him. Those who’ve been abused or neglected—as is the case for many who live with mental illness—often believe that they’re unwanted because that’s the message they’ve received. Continue reading
For those who live with serious mental health conditions, stigma is constant companion. It follows them like a shadow they can’t escape, defining them by their illnesses in the minds of others and coloring the way they are seen in their communities with misconceptions. It causes them to be avoided or ignored at best, and often leads to discrimination and mistreatment. Continue reading
Every few months two small pairs of hands are among those that serve dinner to members of The Well Community. They belong to Kate and Don Thacker’s children, ages 5 and 7. For the past two years, ever since another family invited Kate to join them in volunteering at The Well, the Thacker crew has regularly set aside Thursday evenings to provide a meal for members. Don’s band has played occasionally during the worship time at Thursday Night Life, and the kids have even joined him on stage. “We love it,” Kate says. Continue reading
Volunteers are vital to the work of The Well! In 2018, over 200 volunteers gave countless hours of their time to serve, and without their help The Well Community wouldn’t be able to continue to provide a place to belong for those in the Dallas area who live with life-altering mental illnesses. Our volunteers make The Well a supportive community for our members not only through their tangible, measurable assistance—which they offer so generously—but through their compassion and friendship. Continue reading
When you think of a nonprofit organization or ministry outreach, usually the first thing that comes to mind is the help provided to the people who receive services. We also consider how volunteers impact the lives of those who benefit from the activities. We want to know how donor dollars make a difference for those in need. But what if we turn that around and ask, “How is the community influenced by the those who receive services? How does the work of the nonprofit make its neighbors better people?”
We took that approach recently when talking with Dr. Brent McDougal, senior pastor of Cliff Temple Baptist Church, where The Well Community has housed its Community Life Center for 17 years. We wanted to know, “How has The Well Community helped to make Cliff Temple the kind of church it is today?” Continue reading
Margy was already a regular volunteer at The Well Community, but she knew she wanted to do more. She first heard about the numerous ways The Well serves those living with serious mental illnesses at church as Vickie Fisk, who would eventually found The Well Auxiliary, regularly shared the need for donations and volunteers. Several times Margy answered the call as she joined others from the church to serve dinner at Thursday Night Life, The Well’s weekly worship service for members. Continue reading
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.
In this blog, we highlight a few local businesses and individuals who come alongside The Well to offer support and care. They share why being a good neighbor to The Well is important to them. Continue reading
“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
Each semester, The Well Community welcomes interns from local universities to learn, hands-on, how to work with people dealing with severe mental illnesses. It is often during their time at The Well students in social work, counseling, psychology and related fields really become aware of the impact mental illness has on individuals. But even more, through their relationship with our members, interns often first confront their own preconceptions as they encounter people with great courage and compassion. Here’s how our most recent intern, Amber, described her own “awakening.” Continue reading