At a wellness and recovery center, peace and calm are important elements in the healing environment. The park area of Perry Wellness Center is designed to soothe the senses and create a sense of serenity. On a recent morning, the eastern sunrise, the sound of a running brook, and a burst of green and color in the garden greet center founder and CEO Stuart Perry.
“I love to come and walk through this area with the waterfall and brook,” he explains. “The lush foliage and sounds assure me of the goodness of the coming day.”
Stuart recalls how he established the center in honor of his father, whose suicide shattered his own life during his college years. As the sun rises higher, he reflects on this legacy.
“I had to learn the hard way about depression and what is causes,” he states. “I began Perry Wellness Center as a ‘helping hand’ to others who suffer from mental illness and substance abuse.”
While depression affected his life for many years, Stuart has found his way to recovery and strives for the same results for those who attend groups, meet with peer counselors, and stroll through the campus gardens.
“We are making progress in our mission of educating others about this sickness,” he notes. He believes the physical environment plays its own role in the process. The extensive plantings, water features, and garden structures were designed by artist and employee Jeff Williams to promote an atmosphere of quiet contemplation.
Stuart points to a waterside bench that has often been the site of one-on-one talks with peers.
“This place helps all of us relax and share our thoughts,” he concludes.