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wellness service at Gateway

Wellness

Gateway to Prevention and Recovery, a certified Blue Zones worksite, is passionate about creating a strong culture of health and wellness among staff, patients, and the surrounding community. Gateway’s employees practice wellness by participating in monthly wellness challenges, sharing self- care rituals, and joining together for healthy potluck lunches. One staff member states, “Gateway’s commitment to wellness has given me a network of support, which has fueled my motivation to try new things and has helped me find a way to incorporate wellness at home with my own family.” Gateway’s patients also demonstrate a strong commitment to integrating wellness into their recovery. Through Gateway’s Wellness Program, patients can lead and serve on the Community Service Team, connect to a healthy support system through the Mentoring Program, experience healthy competition and physical activity through the Recovery Softball Teams and YMCA memberships, learn about and prepare nutritious meals through Gateway’s partnership with OSU Extension’s Fresh Start Program, and continue aftercare support through the Alumni Program. One patient describes her experience on the Community Service Team by stating, “It made me feel like I was a part of a team. It made me feel like I was needed, and acceptance is one of the things that has kept me sober.”

Finally, Gateway finds great value in connecting to the surrounding community. Alicja Carter, Gateway’s Wellness Director, offers community wellness team members a “Happy Wellness Wednesday” email each week that communicates self-care testimonies, resources, and strategies. In addition, Gateway holds a monthly Wellness in Recovery lunch at the Shawnee Senior Center for the purpose of joining together People in Recovery and supportive community members to share experiences, strength, and hope and break the stigma of addiction. Finally, community members can apply to be mentors in Gateway’s Mentoring Program to help People in Recovery build healthy relationships and foster sustainable friendships. One community mentor states, “I absolutely love my Mentee. We really enjoy our time together and try new things every week. I love getting to be her friend and help her build trust again.”

We are working together to support wellness in recovery and rebuild lives worth living. Join us!

 

Recently, I’ve stopped to consider the times when I have felt truly happy, inspired, or excited…the times when I’ve laughed out loud, welled up with tears, or experienced my heart full to overflowing. Every single one of these moments have included other people. Whether playing a game of kickball, chatting on the deck, trying out new songs, gathering for a potluck, solving the worlds problems over the phone, joking with clients in between group sessions, or sharing a slice of pizza with Gateway Alumni who want to help their friends stay sober.

Obviously, there is no shortage of tragedy, heartache, oppression, and unfairness in our world today…for some more than others. We all have “issues” to work through and “character defects” to address. However, I am recognizing it now more than ever, that the cornerstone for happiness and healing begins and is sustained by a genuine connection to others…valuing one another’s experiences, talents, quirks, struggles, and insights and recognizing that we all have something to contribute right now…no matter how far we have left to go. The connection I am talking about requires nothing external…it is most invigorating when all parties lay aside their labels and judgments and simply come to the table as humans. I have talked with countless individuals who sit at home alone, surrounded by 4 walls and the ever present drone of the television because they cannot see a place for themselves in the community. It is easy to bypass people that do not “appear” to want to be a part of what is going on or be the person that thinks no one needs you. However, we know that connection is biological. It is in our DNA. We have to have it to some degree or we literally cannot survive. The next time you see yourself slinking back from the action, rise up against those limiting beliefs and get in the game. People need you. You make life better. The next time you see someone hovering on the outskirts, let them know that they are needed and wanted…not because of what they can do…but because of who they are…a person.

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