Building a Sense of Community
For individuals who must deal with the effects of mental illness or substance abuse, becoming a part of the larger community is an important step in the recovery process. For this reason, Perry Wellness Center often provides public observances of significant events, in order to remind both peer members and the public that all of us can be contributing, caring members of our communities.
The recent Worldwide Walk 27 was a poignant example. The local event was organized by Amanda Perry to commemorate the 27 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Before the walk began, 27 candles were lit and a prayer was offered for the victims’ families.
As the group of peer members and staff walked around the Rees Park and Joyce Myers Park areas, a brisk wind was the loudest sound. Later, Stuart Perry commented: “We emphasize the goodness of life at Perry Wellness Center. However, we educate our peer clients and staff about the need to join in observances of tragedy in our nation.”
At the end of the walk, participants posed in front of a flag lowered to half staff, in honor of the shooting victims. That stark flagpole thrust into a cold winter sky seems a fitting tribute to something that truly became an American tragedy for all of us.