The Joy of Networking
Perry Wellness Center depends on a variety of other community organizations and groups to spread its message of recovery for individuals with mental health or substance abuse problems. Our network is growing daily. At the internal level, our network includes a collaboration between staff and peers that is unique, in that many or most of the staff have had similar experiences with behavioral health issues. We also have group of peers who get come together for organized team sports, and that sometimes extends to peers in other programs. Teamwork is a vital part of networking building.
Another example of our growing network is our coordination with Georgia Southwestern State University’s Nursing Program. Several times each year, senior nursing students visit our campus to learn more about our programs and the service needs of our peers. We almost feel that the nursing program has adopted Perry Wellness Center, as they also help raise donations for our pop tab project with the Ronald McDonald House. The students are also more than willing to jump in on the team sports events – we think they enjoy it as a break from studies!
Some members of our service network may come and go, as our paths cross briefly. Such was the case with the recent visit by 22 volunteers from a church in Indiana. We recently told you the story of their visit. Now we have seen some ripple effects from their visit – on which illustrated the way in which networks come together through not only hard work, but chance. One of the visiting student nurses, Maggie Perez, was present when the Indiana church group visited. Along with staff members Phyllis Smith and Kelly Jansen, she shared lunch with Maggie’s parents, along with the church group.
“It was fun to meet Maggie and discuss some of her growing up in Cuba,” Phyllis commented. “Each time we welcome groups to Perry Wellness Center, we discover people with a like mission of helping others.”
It turns out that Maggie’s father is pastor of the First United Methodist Hispanic Church in Americus. He has begun a ministry of securing foods and supplies for the local Hispanic community. The outreach office is on Forsyth Street.
Which brings us all full circle. Perry Wellness Center also networks with First United Methodist Church and the local food pantry. From the growing network of service providers throughout the area, we anticipate that even more will be done to address local needs – and we’re glad to be a part of it!
In the photo above, Kelly Jansen, left, greets student nurses, from left to right: Katie Bush and Maggie Perez, from Griffin, Georgia, and Emilee Roland, from Americus. At far right is Phyllis Smith, facilitator for the visiting Indiana group.