Putting lives back togetherSince its beginnings as the Tom Perry Peer Center on the Plains Highway, the recovery program first envisioned by Stuart Perry has continued to grow. It began with only four peers in a small building, and now serves almost 80 peers on a sprawling campus that fills nearly a city block.

The program’s move to its East Furlow Street location occurred after The Great Tornado of 2007. The move provided increased exposure in the community, as foot traffic increased and the establishment of Rudy’s Happy Patch Market became a draw for individuals throughout the area.

In describing the work of Perry Wellness Center, staffer Jan Adkinson, a long-time mental health advocate, explains how “putting lives back together” relies upon attention to all aspects of a peer’s life, including his or her personal needs. Such needs must be addressed with guidance and often hands-on assistance.

“We must welcome a peer with understanding,” she says. “At the same time, our review into this client’s past will direct us into a way to best help this individual.”

As always, Perry Wellness Center welcomes community involvement in its mission of wellness and recovery. One way that individuals can help is through donations, which are tax-deductible. Many local citizens make monthly donations to the center, but one-time donations are also welcomed.

“In the last months of 2016, mental health advocates might consider donations to Perry Wellness Center,” Jan suggests. “As our population increases, so do the groups and specific needs of our peer clientele.”

Nakia Rhone, pictured above, is an example of a success story in addressing personal needs. She began a weight-loss program at Perry Wellness Center on April 13 of this year. As of October 25, she had lost 90 pounds. Her smile attests to her pride in meeting an important personal health goal. Congratulations, Nakia!

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