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wellness service at Gateway


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!


In my therapy group this morning we did a check-in where everyone shared a “Peak” and a “Valley” for their week as well as a “Coping Skill” they used to get through the challenging times. I thought for this week’s Wellness Wednesday, I would share mine.

Peak: Recently, I have spent more quality time with my friends. I have intentionally left my phone in my purse, walked away from the dishes, watched an entire soccer game, and plopped myself in the middle of the conversation. I have slightly bent my schedule to facilitate longer nights, louder laughs, and more meaningful conversations. While I still love goal setting, working, and following a routine, this shift in gears has helped me make more memories.

Valley: One challenge I have been facing recently is attending the gym 12x/mo to get my membership paid by my work. I have told myself, “Just go 3x/wk!”, “Go on the weekends!”, “You used to go the gym all the time!”, “You don’t have kids…you should be able to do this!”, and “Do it right after work!” The truth is, although I want to accomplish my goal, I want other things as well…like the life I mentioned in my “Peak”.

Coping Skills: To work through my “Valley” I have started doing simple exercises at home, such as Yoga with Adriene and walking outside. I have even made a plan to meet a friend on Friday mornings at the gym. However, I have also considered discontinuing my membership so I don’t have to worry about it anymore. Today, I have choices. I can either change my effort or expectations. I don’t have to “feel bad” for not doing this or that…it may not be a priority at this time…and that is okay.

This week, I invite you to try this “Peak, Valley, Coping Skill Exercise” with your staff, friends, kiddos, spouse, etc. I encourage you to listen with a non-judgmental ear and thank them for sharing their experiences with you.

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