Spotlight on a Community Supporter: Pam Spell of Norma’s Cafe

Pam Spell (center) with Norma’s Cafe staff

If you’re in the mood for some old-fashioned home cooking, for fluffy biscuits that melt in your mouth, for berry cobbler served straight from the oven, for chicken-fried steak or pancakes or waffles, look no farther than Norma’s Cafe, Oak Cliff’s very own comfort food destination. Norma’s is a staple for those who live in the neighborhood and the broader Dallas metroplex (there are several Norma’s Cafes in the area), but it’s also an essential part of The Well Community. For almost a decade, Norma’s has occasionally provided meals to The Well Community. Continue reading

A Firsthand Understanding: Lessons About Mental Health During COVID-19

May is Mental Health Awareness month. We want to help you become more informed, not only about severe mental illnesses faced by our members, but also about how the stresses of COVID-19 can impact your mental health and what you can do about it.

While the mental health ramifications of COVID-19 make this pandemic a crisis in and of themselves, there is a benefit hidden within this monumental challenge: Our society as a whole is becoming more aware of mental health on a personal level and more open to talking about it. As a growing number of people wrestle with their mental health—some for the first time—our culture is gaining understanding of what those living with mental illnesses face day after day, year after year. Below are key lessons that will help shape the future of the conversation around mental health for the better. Continue reading

A Well World: Look for the Helpers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” – Fred Rogers

You have probably seen this quote often in the last month or so. I have seen it too, but not just on social media. I have seen it alive, up close and in person at The Well Community. Continue reading

Extraordinary Times

Much of what we are facing in this season of isolation, fear of scarcity and compromised health are daily struggles for members of The Well Community. As those whose lives are marked by severe and chronic mental illnesses, they have even greater challenges in avoiding and combating COVID-19. Continue reading

When Mental Illness and Poverty Intertwine

As if navigating life with a severe mental illness doesn’t create enough challenges, mental health difficulties often result in an array of additional debilitating hurdles. Because many living with mental illnesses do not have the ability to hold a job, poverty is often a constant companion. With poverty comes homelessness, poor health and insufficient nutrition, not to mention the less visible struggles with stigma and shame.

Members of The Well Community deal every day with serious mental health disorders such as bipolar, schizophrenia and major depression. And they live each hour with the despair of poverty. Continue reading

And You Can Help!

We are all scrambling to serve each other during the COVID-19 health crisis. At The Well Community we have had to suspend our Community Life Center group gatherings and our Thursday Night Life worship service. But we have not stopped serving our members who already have insurmountable challenges as they manage daily life through the lens of mental illness. One of the greatest needs they have at this time is to be as healthy as possible. To that end, we are providing nutritious lunches four days a week (carryout and delivery) and offering hygiene items with every meal. And you can help! Continue reading

Mental Illness and Poverty: Magnifying Challenges in Times of Crisis

Health crises like the coronavirus pandemic impact us all. But, those who live with serious mental illnesses face unique challenges in times like this. Not only can uncertainty and fear trigger worsening of symptoms, but lack of access to things like healthy food, shelter and medical care can lead to a higher risk of illness.

The poverty faced by many who deal with life-altering mental health conditions plays a major role in magnifying the challenges of health crises. Below are several ways that those living with mental illnesses are especially impacted by lack of resources in times like these. Continue reading

A WELL WORLD: Lessons Learned in Uncertain Times

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