Recovery is a process, not a final destination, as Perry Wellness Center peers know. While they have made great strides in managing mental illness or substance abuse problems, day-to-day problems and conflicts may arise that are a challenge to their physical or mental health.
“Many of us probably have issues and conflicts that we bring to work or to a new location each day,” says PWC founder and CEO Stuart Perry. “At Perry Wellness Center, we work quickly through our contacts with peers to resolve these issues.”
Peers have frequent check-ins with staff to monitor health and mental status, review personal goals, and discuss problems. One staff member who plays a critical role in this process is Charlene Hayes, a registered nurse. She deals with peer medical needs and sickness, checks readiness for participation in sports, and monitors general mental and physical health of peers at the center. She also checks peers’ blood pressure and looks for any possible interactions or other problems with prescribed medications. As a nurse, she is sometimes the first to spot a potential conflict or problem.
“Sometimes, conflicts in our peer family can be revealed through their failure to take prescribed medication,” Miss Charlene says, citing one common example of a clue to brewing problems. “As I talk with these peers and check their vitals, I can quickly discover changes that we must address and resolve.”
As a wellness and recovery program, PWC promotes a “healthy body, healthy mind” connection. So it is not surprising that the first line of defense in an individual’s mental recovery may be a physical health provider.
In the photo above, Charlene Hayes, RN, checks the blood pressure of Jamica as they discuss potential health concerns.