Six Dallas-Area Organizations Making a Difference for Those Living With Mental Illnesses

Six Dallas-Area OrganizationsMaking a Difference for Those Living With Mental IllnessesThe Well Community is part of a network of organizations that advocate for mental health and help meet the need for relationship and connection among those who live with mental illnesses. We’re thankful for other Dallas-area organizations like these that serve individuals who are impacted by mental health challenges. Continue reading

Cultivating Community

Helping in the Garden

Well Community member Mary lends a hand at the Learning Garden. Photo courtesy of Better Block.

Every Wednesday morning, a bus pulls up in front of Better Block’s Learning Garden in Oak Cliff and a group of volunteers climb out. They are members of The Well Community who go weekly to work in the garden: pulling weeds, watering flowers, making compost and more. It’s a small commitment with a big impact on The Well members who live with mental illnesses and, because of stigma, have limited opportunities to be a part of the larger community. 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: Storytelling

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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

Finding Significance at The Well

2017-05-11 - Finding Significance at The Well“Mental illness … is like being caught up in a tornado, a tornado you don’t really see,” says Well member PT. “You see the debris that is floating in the air … but you don’t really see the tornado.”

PT has lived with the storm of mental illness for over 35 years. He experienced his first episode related to bipolar schizoaffective disorder in 1980, while in Israel with a discipleship group. “I didn’t sleep for three days straight,” he recalls. “My thoughts were racing.” 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

Blessings Upon Blessings

Blessings Upon Blessings

Volunteer Jennifer Snow checks on dinner for Thursday Night Life

It’s impossible to fully communicate the value of our volunteers through facts and figures alone. But as we look at the numbers that sum up the many ways individuals and groups gave of their time and talents last year, we can’t help but be encouraged.

Last year, The Well Community was blessed by 260 volunteers who put in nearly 3,000 hours of service. According to the Corporation for National Community Service, each volunteer hour provides a value of $23.56 to a nonprofit organization. By that measure, those who volunteered in 2016 contributed the equivalent of over $67,000!

Continue reading

Volunteer Spotlight: Ann Tabony

On any given Tuesday, you can find Ann Tabony at The Well Community serving as a volunteer art teacher, helping Well members who deal with mental illnesses learn how to paint, draw and explore other forms of creativity.

The art program is one of many opportunities for people in the Metroplex to help make a lasting difference in the lives of those who come to the Well to find a safe place to escape stigma and isolation. Not only do volunteers like Tabony make a tremendous impact on Well members, most who serve say they leave feeling transformed. “We get much more than we give,” is a common refrain. Continue reading

A Well World: What can be done?

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REFLECTIONS FROM ALICE ZACCARELLO, Executive Director

Our two featured blogs in March (Homelessness: A Roadblock to Recovery and At Home at Jacob’s House) have highlighted the relationship between mental illness and homelessness. The statistics are alarming, but the situation is even more desperate than the numbers indicate—because we are talking about PEOPLE. People who, through no choice nor fault of their own, are beset by brain disorders that prohibit them from basic human opportunities like work, security and dignity.

For members of The Well Community, safe, affordable and decent housing is an ongoing challenge. For some of them, because there is so little available, the streets are their only option. What can be done? Continue reading