The Wellness Center
The Peer-run Wellness Center offers a continuum of individual and group activities based on concepts of wellness that foster hope and lead to recovery.
The Peer Specialists who run the Wellness Center are individuals with their own personal experience with mental illness and/or substance abuse treatment who have achieved a level of recovery to be role models for others. They are Certified Peer Support Specialists through the state of Michigan and have skills in a variety of evidence-based treatment areas such as motivational interviewing, dialectical behavior therapy, recovery coaching, and emotional CPR. The Wellness Center offers a safe environment with a variety of activities to promote hope, personal responsibility, education, self-advocacy, and support. Programming includes Holistic Wellness Classes such as Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), physical activities, socialization groups, health monitoring, and individual wellness coaching.
Holistic Wellness Classes
Holistic Wellness Classes place an emphasis on providing individuals with opportunities to learn and share coping skills and strategies. Individuals regain a sense of self worth, confidence, purpose and balance in their lives through participation in various psycho-educational groups. Peer Specialists encourage people to discover their personal wellness path and function as role models and partners along the way. Classes are offered at varying times throughout the year in response to demand.
Examples of Holistic Wellness Classes include:
- Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP): WRAP is an evidence-based program of recovery designed by Mary Ellen Copeland, a mental health recovery advocate. WRAP presents day-to-day coping and wellness strategies for people who have experienced mental health difficulties. WRAP enables people to develop their own wellness toolboxes, establish daily maintenance plans, identify their triggers and early warning signs, create crisis plans, and develop personal support systems.
- PATH (Personal Action Toward Health): PATH is an evidence-based program developed by Stanford University to help people with chronic diseases including mental health, substance abuse, diabetes, cardiac problems, lung disorders, etc. Subjects covered include: 1) techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation; 2) appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance; 3) appropriate use of medications; 4) communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals; 5) nutrition; and 6) making informed treatment decisions.
- Concepts of Wellness: This class promotes taking action in one's own wellness. Participants learn how to tell their personal recovery stories, mindfulness, healthy boundaries, interpersonal communication, and more. This group is based on SAMHSA’s 8 Dimensions of Wellness—Social, Emotional, Spiritual, Occupational, Financial, Physical, Environmental, and Intellectual. Concepts of Wellness classes are held several times per week.
- Writing Group: This class provides an opportunity to use the tool of written expression. This weekly group is for people at all skill levels and appeals particularly to those who find journaling to be a valuable tool. Topics vary from week to week and reflect the varied skill levels of participants.
- Social Group: This group offers a safe, substance-free environment that provides opportunities for socialization and community inclusion. Creative expression, entertainment, and special events take place throughout the month.
- Art Group: Participants in this weekly class have space to work on creative expression. Both new and established artists are welcome to attend. Materials are provided.
Wellness in Action
Wellness Center staff value promoting opportunities for participants to be physically active. Current weekly activities include yoga and walkabout. Outings are held on a seasonal basis as well.
Wellness One-to-One Services
The Wellness Center offers individual wellness coaching through its Peer Specialist staff. This experience provides tailored guidance, not therapy, on setting and attaining recovery goals and building hope. Individuals working on specific health-related goals may choose to participate in quarterly health screening offered by Holtyn Associates at the Wellness Center.
The Wellness Center offers opportunities to gain independence via bus training, grocery shopping assistance, or linking with other appointments in the community.
In addition to helping people with their personal wellness goals, Wellness Center outcomes include:
- Increased self-reported hope for recovery
- An average of 10 groups/classes offered weekly
- High rates of satisfaction with services
What People Say About Our Wellness Center
- “I’m excited to be part of a community of people that look beyond my illness. I went through the doldrums but feel I’m getting a better understanding of exercise and the use of peer supports to put my disease on the back burner and focus on wellness.”
- “The WRAP class gives you tools to help you in tough times. It teaches self-esteem and helped me make a plan for when I really need it.”
- “I’ve learned to identify what triggers the symptoms of my mental illness. I’ve learned ways to help myself.”
How to Enroll
If you are authorized to receive services from Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, contact your Case Manager or Supports Coordinator for a referral, or contact KCMHSAS Access Center at (269) 373-6000. The Wellness Center is currently available in Kalamazoo only.
For more information about the Wellness Center or other services provided by the agency, contact InterAct between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at (269) 381-3700.