SAMHSA: Community Spotlight: Wellness in the Big Apple

 

Community Spotlight: Wellness in the Big Apple  

 

Since 2011, SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative has highlighted nationwide events that promote wellness every day. To have your community or organization's events featured on the Wellness Map, send information about your activities to wellness@samhsa.hhs.gov! Read on for an in-depth look at wellness in the Big Apple! 

Carlton Whitmore, Assistant Director at New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's (DOHMH) Office of Consumer Affairs and Steering Committee member of SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative, takes wellness to heart.

"Everyone wants to be well, and the best part is, everyone can customize the concept of wellness and the Eight Dimensions of Wellness to their individual needs at the time. As a peer myself, focusing on wellness has provided a beneficial, holistic outlook on my health and life."

----Carlton Whitmore

Peggy Swarbrick runs a wellness table at NYC DOHMH's Office of Consumer Affairs

Creating Wellness fair in June 2013.

Source: Carlton Whitmore.

Over the years, the NYC DOHMH's Office of Consumer Affairs and Bureau of Mental Health have integrated wellness into many of the department's activities. In addition to coordinating a DOHMH National Wellness Week kickoff event every September, Whitmore's office, directed by Jody Silver, organized a "Creating Wellness" fair in June 2013 and promoted wellness at the annual New York City Peer Specialists Conference, held at New York University.

 

 

Whitmore credits Silver with creating another DOHMH opportunity in New York City: peer wellness coach training. Silver's efforts have resulted in the training of more than 100 peer wellness coaches who have completed a curriculum including workshops such as Nutrition and Diabetes, Heart Health, Metabolic Syndrome, and Cultural Competency.

After they have been trained, these peer wellness coaches bring the message of wellness back to their own organizations. Some of them have formed "Walk 'n' Weigh" groups, where peers walk together each week, track their weight loss, and bond over a shared quest for fitness. Others have started implementing healthy crock-pot dinners at the DOHMH housing agencies for which they work. Still others help out at smoking cessation groups and integrate fun "Wii Fit" activities into their programs.

 

KM

Kenny Mick receives a Peer Wellness award at NYC DOHMH's Office of Consumer Affairs

Creating Wellness fair in June 2013.

Source: Carlton Whitmore.

 

"The power of peer support shines when it comes to wellness," says Whitmore. "Kenny Mick, a dedicated peer wellness coach, received a Peer Wellness award at our Creating Wellness fair. He's helped many of his fellow peers by sharing his personal health challenges and showing others that it is possible to integrate healthier lifestyle choices at any stage of life."

 

Mick also recruits members for the NYC peer wellness coach listserv, wellnessworks4us@yahoogroups.com, which Carlton oversees. This listserv provides information and resources for anyone interested in making healthier lifestyle choices.

Whitmore is excited to share how New York City is promoting peer wellness through events that can be viewed on the Wellness Map, under "New York." He also reminds organizations thinking they lack the funds to conduct wellness activities that many activities can be low-cost, such as walking groups and storytelling hours. "Anyone and any organization can start a journey toward improved wellness, one step at a time. The important thing is to start!"

Are you looking for more examples of wellness events you can hold? Check out SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative's Wellness Map for ideas and send your event information to wellness@samhsa.hhs.gov, including:

  • Organization/individual/host;
  • Event building/landmark name, street address, city, state, zip code;
  • Event name and description;
  • Event date and time; and
  • Event contact info (name, phone, email, Web site, etc.)

Promote #WellnessEvents on Social Media

samhsa

Source: Screenshot of Facebook page.

To encourage your community to hold wellness events, share these sample Facebook and Twitter messages and links with your friends and followers. SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative will follow the hashtag "#WellnessEvents" to see what you add to the conversation!

Facebook (use the hashtag "#WellnessEvents" to follow the conversation): 

 

  • We love holding #WellnessEvents! Get ideas for yours and submit them to the Wellness Map!

 

 

  • This year, our organization is planning many #WellnessEvents! Get ideas for yours and submit them to the Wellness Map!

 

 

  • Anyone or organization can hold #WellnessEvents! Get ideas for yours and submit them to the Wellness Map!

 

 

  • Let's spread #WellnessEvents nationwide! Get ideas for yours and submit them to the Wellness Map!

 

Twitter (use the hashtag "#WellnessEvents" to follow the conversation):

  • We love holding #WellnessEvents! Get ideas & submit yours to the Wellness Map! 1.usa.gov/oo5ULE 

 

  • This year, our organization is planning many #WellnessEvents! Get ideas & submit yours to the Wellness Map! 1.usa.gov/oo5ULE 

 

  • Anyone or organization can hold #WellnessEvents! Get ideas & submit yours to the Wellness Map! 1.usa.gov/oo5ULE 

 

  • Let's spread #WellnessEvents nationwide! Get ideas & submit yours to the Wellness Map! 1.usa.gov/oo5ULE 

Wellness Initiative Links

Connect With SAMHSA on Social Media

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About SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative

Since 2009, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has promoted the improved wellness of people with behavioral health problems by engaging, educating, and training providers, consumers, and policy makers. SAMHSA partners with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Women's Health (FDA/OWH) and Million Hearts, a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years, to disseminate wellness messages and motivate individuals and community organizations to take action for wellness.