Administrative social work intern Valencia with two Well Community members
Over and over, we see how internships at The Well Community truly benefit interns and members alike. University of Southern California Master of Social Work intern Valencia Jefferson has experienced these two-way rewards while attending to the behind-the-scenes tasks at The Well.
While working toward a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in administration at the University of Southern California (USC), Valencia Jefferson realized she would need to complete an internship before graduation. She asked her professors for a recommendation, and they pointed her in the direction of The Well Community, which had an opening for a graduate social work intern at the time. Valencia had grown up in the Dallas area, so spending a year in Oak Cliff seemed a good fit. She interviewed at The Well last spring, and for the past eight months has been working there as a graduate social work intern with an administrative focus. Continue reading
Director Alice Zaccarello, Ericka Ruiz and Gemma Cardenas, with UTA interns
Program Coordinator Gemma Cardenas understands the benefits of The Well Community’s internship program firsthand, not only from her role in supervising the students who participate, but from her own time as an intern. “It gave me the opportunity to apply everything that I had learned at school,” she recalls, adding that serving at The Well was vastly different from merely hearing about mental health in a classroom. “I learned so much from being here, so much more than from a textbook. It gave me a lot of confidence as well.” 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
Christmastime is a generally a season of joy, but for those living with mental illnesses, it can be laden with challenges. Many aspects of this time of year can make managing a mental health condition even more difficult. In the midst of the festivities, keep in mind these three ways that the Christmas season can be hard for those dealing with mental illnesses. Continue reading
Thanks to the selfless efforts of many, members of The Well Community had a terrific Christmas Celebration at our last Thursday Night Life for the year. Our members enjoyed festive decorations, Christmas music, a holiday message and a traditional turkey meal with dessert. Santa arrived to deliver presents and members received a fun photo with him to take home.
We had a full house! Volunteers from Cliff Temple Baptist Church, Kessler Park United Methodist Church and St. Jude Oak Cliff brought and served the delicious meal. Interns from the School of Social Work at UTA and community volunteers helped with the festivities. Backpacks filled with personal care and special items were provided through Body Oak Cliff, the Thompson & Knight law firm and many donors; and $50 Walmart cards were given to members thanks to the successful “Christmas in July” drive sponsored by The Well Auxiliary and additional generous donations. 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
For parents of young children, finding a place to volunteer as a family that’s both feasible and safe can seem daunting. That’s how Brooke Moser, the mother of two daughters, ages 5 and 7, often felt until a friend of hers recommended she and her husband volunteer with their girls at Thursday Night Life, The Well Community’s weekly worship service and dinner. Over a year ago, Brooke and her family showed up to serve, and they haven’t looked back since. Continue reading
Our Starry Night in Hollywood party was a star-studded smash hit! On November 9, supporters of The Well gathered at The Schoolhouse to walk the red carpet, enjoying fantastic music, tasty food, dancing and tons of fun, all to help The Well Community continue to support those in the Dallas area living with mental illnesses. Our special thanks goes to our Co-Chairs, Brooke & Jason Moser and Kate & Don Thacker, to our emcee, Brett Shipp, and to our host committee, sponsors, volunteers and vendors for a fantastic night!
Check out the slideshow below for some of the highlights of Starry Night in Hollywood. Continue reading
For many years The Well Community has hosted a fall concert called Recovery Live! This year we’ve made a change to bring a fresh approach to the annual event. Starry Night in Hollywood will be held Saturday, November 9 at The Schoolhouse, 1606 Chalk Hill Road, Dallas, 7:30 p.m.-midnight. It introduces new party fun while underscoring the very serious need for support for those dealing with mental illnesses. Below, Alice Zaccarello, Executive Director, tells us about this new direction. 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