During these uncertain times, when all routines are disrupted and we have more questions than answers, I find it helpful to consider the plight of others to keep from focusing only on my own challenges. In a recent conversation with our Board Chairman, Jeff Lane, we talked about social distancing and social isolation. He had some great insights on how these relate to members of The Well, so I’ve asked him to share them with you.
Alice Continue reading
Just a few short years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that famous figures ranging from musicians to athletes would be openly sharing how they’ve wrestled with mental illness. We’ve made great progress as a society in increasing awareness of mental health conditions and tearing down the stigma that often surrounds them.
Yet, this stigma still overshadows the suffering of the one in five Americans who live with mental illnesses. Continuing to dispel misconceptions and negative attitudes requires keeping the conversation going, and I’m grateful for the many celebrities and everyday folks alike who are leading the charge. Continue reading
Creating community takes a team.
Here at The Well, we’re able to provide a place to belong for those who live with serious mental illnesses because of the efforts of many. Our dedicated staff members oversee numerous programs and provide case management services to help our members manage ongoing challenges. Our volunteers give of their time, energy and talents to prepare and serve meals, lead members in worship, teach life skills and more; and our donors’ faithful generosity allows us to continue to open our doors day after day.
Likewise, our interns play an integral part in serving our members. They come engaged, interested and ready to be involved. And, because the schools where they’re studying disciplines such as social work and psychology send such well-prepared students, they’re truly a part of our team. Continue reading
On any given day at The Well Community, it’s easy to see numerous reasons to be thankful. Each time our doors open, I witness the profound power of connection and support in the lives of our members—people who, because of struggles with serious mental illness—rarely have safe places where they can be themselves and find friendship and assistance.
But, when I look back at 2019 as a whole and consider the impact of ongoing, caring community in our members’ lives, my heart nearly bursts with gratitude. All year long, we’ve been able to provide a place to belong for those who face the countless daily challenges of life-altering mental health conditions and the isolation that so often accompanies them. It’s hard to understate the cumulative impact. Continue reading
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
Although it can be easy for each of us to segment ourselves into mind, body and soul, we are, indeed, integrated beings. When one part of us is unwell, other parts suffer. It’s common for worry to set in when we have a lengthy illness. Studies show that faith often augments healing. Continue reading
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
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
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
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