Time for Tomatoes
Gardening at Perry Wellness Center is important for two groups: our peer members and our market customers.
We promote gardening and market work at our center in order to provide peers with valuable lessons in teamwork, social skill building, and good old-fashioned gardening techniques.
Great Taste, Low Costs, Good Nutrition -- It's Breakfast at PWC!
Two important life management skills are money management and healthy nutrition. At Perry Wellness Center, Culinary Chef Kelly Jansen recently modeled these two skills for peers when he unveiled our new lower-cost, health-conscious breakfast menu.
As we all know, food costs continue to rise. The culinary staff did a recent analysis of meal preparation costs and determined that a healthy breakfast could be served for as little as $ .42 per person per day! But our summer breakfast menu is also quite nutritious, and features fresh fruit, toast, eggs, and the all-important coffee – without which both staff and peers would flee the campus!
Chef Kelly notes: “We are finding ways to make subtle changes in our menu to help with weight loss and constructive diet change.”
Information on both costs and nutrition is shared with peers. As the photo above would indicate, the new menu seems to be a hit all around.
Gideons Share Bibles with Peers
Recently a group of our peers became some of the latest beneficiaries of a tradition that has extended over one hundred years. They became recipients of Gideon New Testament Bibles.
After several peers requested personal Bibles, a member of local Faith Baptist Church stopped by our campus. A Gideon member for 25 years, Martin Muff visited our center and offered to present Bibles to all peer clients who wanted one.
Stuart Perry invited Mr. Muff and other Gideons to lunch at the center. When he returned with fellow Gideon Sam Curry, the group enjoyed lunch and Bible presentations to a large group of peers.
For those who aren’t aware of the Gideons history, the organization was founded in 1899, after two gentlemen met at the Central Hotel in Boscobel, Wisconsin. Force to share a double room for the night, John H. Nicholson and Samuel E. Hill held evening devotions together, prayed, and were inspired with the idea to share Bibles with others.
Gideons International is the oldest association of Christian business and professional men and women in the United States, and it now has branches all over the world.
Our thanks to these kind local representatives who made our day brighter at Perry Wellness Center.
In the above photo, Martin Muff and Sam Curry, of Faith Baptist Church and Gideons International, are surrounded by some of the many peers who accepted New Testament Bibles from them.
Mental Health Month Daily Tip
We’re halfway through Mental Health Month and wanted to share a nifty tool with you. If you go to this link at Mental Health America, you can check out a full month’s calendar of wellness tips.
Today’s tip: Reconnect with a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while. Maintaining strong relationships is essential to happiness.
Individuals dealing with the effects of mental illness often develop a sense of social isolation. It’s hard to fit in when you’re hurting inside. At Perry Wellness Center, we emphasize the importance of staying connected with loved ones. It can make all the difference in one’s recovery.
Even if you don’t have a mental illness or other behavioral health problem, it’s still worth remembering. We all get stressed out, overworked, or otherwise not at our best at times. Reaching out to family and friends can help us stay grounded.
Peer's Spring Planting Teaches Lesson in Recovery
"Anything that Mike Harper plants, lives." If you wonder why this is a popular saying at Perry Wellness Center, take a walk around the campus and check out the beautiful flower beds that this talented peer member has planted.
Michael Harper enjoys outdoor work with a group of peers more than the traditional indoor support group. Recently he organized a group to assist in beautifying the eastern edge of the campus, and as the photo here shows, the results speak for themselves.
Mike patiently describes his planting techniques: "I dig the holes about twice the size they need to be. We then fill them with water and drop the wetted plant in the hole. I then cover the plant, pack the soil, and then we water the area when we are finished."
In a wellness and recovery program, nothing better represents growth and new life better than gardening. A few hours a week under spring skies and with shovel in hand gives any peer a life lesson as important as any that may be taught in the classroom.
"Peers Helping Peers" in Action
“Peers helping peers” is a motto at Perry Wellness Center, and a group of staff and peers recently illustrated this point.
Nathaniel “Nate” Bridges has been in the process of making improvements to his yard on his Highway 280 property. After getting a new lawn mower and beginning improvements, Nathaniel realized he needed some assistance with cutting some tree limbs in his front yard.
Yesterday, a Perry Wellness Center crew arrived to help spruce up the property, armed with a trust power saw and some strong backs. Staff member Gerald Shaw, along with peers Tommy Green and Izel Neves, helped Nate prune his property and build up a burn pile.
Nathaniel is delighted. “I All I had to do was voice my need for limb removal, and my peer friends came to my house to get the job done,” Nathaniel explained. “I thank them very much.”
In the photo, from left, Nate, Gerald, Tommy, and Izel work together to clean Nate’s yard.
PWC Peer Places 1st in Area Run
Perry Wellness Center is a strong advocate of vigorous exercise and physical activity. As we work with peers on their Whole Health Action Management (WHAM) plans, they often focus on wellness goals that relate to sports and exercise.
Kaylon Holt, and avid runner, set for himself the challenge of running in competitive races. He recently participated in the Plains Peanut Festival run, followed by the Buena Vista Off-Road Odyssey last weekend.
We’re happy to report that Kaylon won first place in his age division! The route was a challenging one, winding through woods, pastures, and streams at Wells-Brown Farm near Buena Vista.
“It was a fun run despite the cow patties,” Kaylon joked. He now looks forward to entering other races in the future. We hear his mother is pretty excited, too!
Congratulations, Kaylon, on a well-run race – and more importantly, for showing how meeting wellness goals can be an enjoyable and winning part of recovery.
PWC Welcomes New Horizons Staff
Sharing our message of wellness and recovery is an important part of our mission at Perry Wellness Center. So we’re always delighted when professionals from other organizations come to learn from us and see what wonderful things are going on in southwest Georgia!
Recently, we welcome a group of visitors from New Horizons Community Services Board, a public mental health and substance abuse agency in Columbus, Georgia. Looking to expand its services to clients with substance abuse issues, the delegation checked out some of our activities, discussed ideas with staff, and took a tour of our facilities.
Program director Jackie Teasley escorted the group around campus, and later observed, “It was good to have these guests from New Horizons. We are proud of our educational center, our market, and the attitude of our staff.”
Phyllis Bleckley, our market manager, also showed the visitors around our outdoor gardens, greenhouses, and market. We hear that the pre-planted herb gardens were a big hit, and several found their way back to Columbus!
In the photo above, Stuart, on the far left, welcomes New Horizons staff. Left to right: Laurie Hildreth, Randall King, Robin Dorsey, Phyllis Teasley, Yolanda Sewell, and Gloria Leonard.
Pathways to Wellness: A Healthy Diet
May is national Mental Health Month, established over 60 years ago by national mental health advocates. This year’s theme is one we’re particularly thrilled about at Perry Wellness Center: “Pathways to Wellness.” We try to practice what we preach about wellness. Our exercise equipment, team sports, locally grown produce, meditation paths, and other campus staples serve as tributes to living a healthy life.
Community Event Draws Visitors to Market
The recent Arts in Rees Park event at the historic park near our center was an occasion for celebration. The beautiful Saturday weather drew local and out-of-town visitors, who browsed exhibits by area artists.
Staff and peers from the center were on hand to welcome visitors on over to the center, as the entrance is only a few steps away from Rees Park. Our intrepid peer member Rhonda Hubbard was our official greeter, a role she has often managed well when visitors stop by the center. While her favorite visitor is probably former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, she was pleased to note the arrival of our local sheriff at Saturday's event.
"I have greeted Sheriff Smith on several occasions," Rhonda said proudly. "He was eager to visit Happy Patch, and he made some good buys!"
Other visitors also shopped at the market, which was brimming over with colorful, locally grown spring flowers and produce. Some of the visitors came via Sam's Short Line, a local tourist railroad. They now make regular stops at the market.
"We appreciate their stops here, which increase awareness of Perry Wellness Center and our Happy Patch Market," founder Stuart Perry noted. "Sam's Short Line is really community-minded."
"Community-minded" seemed to be the word of the day, as hundreds of people from the community turned out in a celebration of spring and the arts in Americus' beautiful historic district.
In the photo above, Rhonda Hubbard and Stuart Perry greet Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith at the center's Elm Street entrance.