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
I grew up in Dallas in the ‘50s and ‘60s, more specifically in Oak Cliff, a place that most in northern parts of the city thought was a substandard, in fact, a scary place. I was born at Methodist Hospital and my family of five eventually moved to Wynnewood North, a tucked away all-white neighborhood. It was an idyllic time by traditional standards: Mom stayed home and dad worked. Kids ran throughout the neighborhood, waded through the creeks and even walked up to Wynnewood shopping center, alone. Continue reading
Participating in a church leaders panel discussion on mental health several years ago, I was asked what Bible verse summed up my philosophy on serving those living with mental health conditions. I suppose some might have gone first to Jesus’ teaching about “caring for the least of these.” But I have always been uncomfortable with the application of that passage to this topic. It feels a little patronizing. Continue reading
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
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
KIDOGO, KIDOGO HUJAZA KIBABA. It’s a proverb from East Africa and it means, “Little by little fills the measure.” I like it because it reminds me that multiple small actions, done with consistency and purpose, can have just as important of an impact as one big act. Continue reading
May is Mental Health Awareness month. It’s a time when those of us in the mental health field try to bring attention to the challenges faced by others who, not just for a month a year but every day of their lives, are constantly aware of the devastating toll mental illnesses extract from them. Continue reading
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
REFLECTIONS FROM ALICE ZACCARELLO, Executive Director
Have you seen our new video? If not, I hope you’ll have a look. It tells the story of PT, one of our members. In his own words, he talks about his journey with mental illness and what the ministry of The Well has meant to his process of recovery. We’ve also written a blog to highlight more aspects of his story.
Watching the video again recently, I thought about other Well Members who also have stories to tell. Each is unique and each one’s journey has many twists and turns. But all have some common themes. I hear them throughout the week in comments by our members. Let me share a few: Continue reading