Operator: Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time, all participants are in a listen only mode until the question and answer session. Today's Webinar is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.
The Power Point presentation, PDF version, the audio recording of the Webinar, and a written transcript will be posted to SAMHSA's wellness Initiative Web site at http://www.samhsa.gov/wellness.
Our presentation today will take place during the first hour and will be followed by a 30 minute question and answer session. During that time, please press star 1 on your telephone to ask a question. You will enter a queue and you will be invited to ask your question in the order that it was received.
Upon hearing the operator announce your first name, please proceed with your question. Due to limited time, we may not get to all questions. If your question isn't answered or you require further information, the presenter's contact information is provided at the end of the presentation. You can contact them directly. I would now like to turn the call over to Crystal Borde. Thank you. You may begin.
(Crystal Borde): Thank you. Hello and welcome to the Springing into Wellness and Planting the Financial Wellness Seed Webinar. Today's Webinar is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Wellness Initiative.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation.
SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. Please join the Wellness Update list to learn more about social inclusion, including upcoming Webinars like this one, new resources, and events.
The views expressed in this Webinar event do not necessarily represent the views, policies, and positions of the Center for Mental Health Services, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Today we are joined by four individuals with extensive experience and knowledge about overall wellness and financial wellness. During this Webinar, you will learn how overall wellness can improve the social, emotional, physical, occupational, intellectual, spiritual, environmental and financial aspects of a person's life, especially those with mental and substance use disorders.
You will also learn about the latest information and resources specifically designed for peers and persons in recovery, and those working with them in behavioral health settings. Our first presenter is (Ammie Bonsu). (Ammie) is a public health analyst at the Center for Mental Health Services in the Consumer Affairs Office of SAMHSA. She provides leadership to a number of behavioral health initiatives including SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative, SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative's Million Hearts® Program and the Office of National Drug Control Policy's Drug Free Communities Support Program located in New Jersey.
(Ammie) will provide an overview of the Wellness Initiative and explain why SAMHSA chooses to focus on overall wellness to improve health and promote recovery. Thanks for joining us, (Ammie).
(Ammie Bonsu): And thank you (Crystal), for the wonderful introduction. I am truly humbled to have this opportunity to not only promote one of SAMHSA's most highly visible initiatives in response to our national call to action for the wellness of people with mental health conditions, but to also express that SAMHSA's position. We truly believe that the public health crisis of early mortality can be solved.
So let's talk about the Wellness Initiative. Since 2007, SAMHSA has been providing improved wellness of people with behavioral health problems by not only engaging, but educating and training providers, consumers, and policymakers.
SAMHSA's wellness efforts are guided by its many champions and collaborators whom we also call our partners. And these folks consist of peers and persons in recovery, family members, peer-run and community-based organizations, behavior health and primary care providers, and researchers who continue to disseminate wellness messages and motivate individuals and community organizations to take action for wellness.
Our partners also include the U.S. FDA, the Food and Drug Administration Office of Women's Health, who we've been working with for a number of years. It also includes the Department of Health and Human Services, Million Hearts®, and that's the operating division that provides oversight to the Million Hearts® national initiative with a goal to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
And our other partner is SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative's Million Hearts® program recipients, who received funding last year to employ a variety of short-term community-based social marketing activities and strategies to increase awareness around wellness, and reduce risk, and improve management of cardiovascular disease in persons with behavioral health conditions.
So let's turn to the next slide and define what wellness is. And Dr. (Halbert Dunn), known as the father of the wellness movement, he introduced the concept of wellness in the 1950s and he defined wellness as not just the absence of disease nor the absence of illness or stress, but the presence of having purpose in life.
Also, it's defined as being actively involved in a satisfying work and play. And also having joyful relationships and maintaining a healthy body, living environment, and happiness.
As many of you are aware, it is a known fact that people with mental health and substance use disorders die decades earlier than the general public or general population, mostly from preventable medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or infectious disease, just to name a few.
So the Wellness Initiative is pretty much embedded in the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. As you can see here on the chart, we have the emotional, financial, social, spiritual, occupational, physical, intellectual and the environmental dimension of wellness.
We have also three goals for the Wellness Initiative that have been set to not just raise awareness that people with mental health and substance use conditions die decades earlier than the general population. We also have a goal to promote ways to improve health behaviors and incorporate the Eight Dimensions of Wellness into recovery.
And we also want to motivate action to incorporate wellness as a means to enhance quality of life while increasing years of life. Of these three goals, we've developed the 2013 objectives, and there're four of them here as projected on the slide.
And the first is definitely this year to focus on the financial dimension of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness in our Initiative programs, speaking engagements, and electronic communications.
We also want to generate at least 400 wellness activities through the year, including those during National Wellness Week this year in September. We also want to recruit at least 350 organizations representing all 50 states and territories to participate in the National Wellness Week 2013 and to implement specific activities promoting the Eight Dimensions of Wellness in their communities.
And last, but not least, we want to expand collaborations with the U.S. FDA's Office of Women's Health. We also want to expand collaborations with the HHS Million Hearts® and our wellness steering committee, as well as forge collaborations with additional Federal programs and agencies, such as the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health.
Well, we couldn't do it without our dynamic steering committee. We're just so pleased to have such wonderful people who include persons with lived experiences, primary health care representatives and the like, to provide strategic direction on communications and community outreach strategies, educational resource development, and evaluation measures.
And we're just really pleased to also have researchers on board with us to include this panel on the steering committee. We also have two subcommittees and that is the Wellness Research and Evaluation Subcommittee and we also have our Culture and Inclusion Subcommittee.
Now, the purpose of having the Wellness and Evaluation Subcommittee is to identify current Federal data on the epidemiology of the mortality for people with mental and substance use conditions, and also to make recommendations regarding necessary improvements to the content as well as the quality of this data.
They also engage in identifying current Federal data that can also be used to construct a small set of key indicators to assess progress in reducing mortality, and improving wellness for persons with mental and substance use conditions, and make recommendations regarding those necessary improvements to the content and quality of these data.
Now the Culture and Inclusion Subcommittee, their purpose is to ensure that all our wellness messages, tools, resources, and the program concepts are culturally relevant to support and assist the work of organizations, individuals and communities, and they also help to guide the outreach strategies targeting specific segments of the population as appropriate. And lastly, they also identify and cultivate collaborations with culturally specific individuals, organizations and communities.
So as I mentioned, we have our National Wellness Week. That is a part of this huge Initiative, and it's an annual national observance that occurs in the third week of September during SAMHSA's National Recovery Month.
And SAMHSA launched the first National Recovery Week in September of 2011 to inspire individuals and organizations to get involved and take one step for wellness. During the National Wellness Week, individuals across the country are encouraged to improve their health behaviors while also exploring their talents, their skills, interests, social connections, and environment to incorporate other dimensions of wellness.
So since the inception of the National Wellness Week, more than 350 peer-run, faith-based and community organizations, including schools, clinics, and employers have organized activities during National Wellness Week to promote one or more of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness.
The theme for this year's national observance is Living Wellness, and actually the theme for the national observance is Living Wellness, with each year directed to focus on one of the dimensions of wellness, with this year being the focus on the financial dimension of wellness.
And given the enormous need to create environments and public policies to enhance overall wellness and financial wellness for peers and persons in recovery, SAMHSA definitely decided to direct its attention this year on the financial dimensions of wellness.
So as I mentioned, this year, we're—it's always the third week in September during SAMHSA's National Recovery Month, so this year we're going to be celebrating and having activities throughout the nation during the week of September 16th through the 22nd.
So I encourage all of you to try to participate, gear up and to spread the word and participate in whatever wellness activities you all have in mind for your communities.
Okay, the next slide talks about—it speaks to the National Wellness Map that we have as part of this huge Initiative. And SAMHSA features all these wellness initiatives on this map which can be viewed on the wellness Web site.
We encourage our partners and our organizations to email their wellness activities and plans via the Web site which is the email@example.com, so that their wellness activities are showcased on the national map.
And our goal this year is to showcase activities from all 50 states and U.S. territories. The next slide talks about the wellness educational materials that we've published and some of those that are in the pipeline.
Those that we've published include two posters on the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. We also have the Top Three Ways to Promote Wellness. We have three wellness brochures, and we also have a wellness—a community activation kit which includes an eight-page guide, three fact sheets, a customizable PowerPoint presentation, and two PSAs for individuals, communities, and organizations to promote National Wellness Week and expand the wellness revolution throughout the year.
Now the eight-page guide is available on the Wellness Initiative's Web site for download in PDF format, and also available as a print product from SAMHSA's online store which you can go to, which is available at store.samhsa.gov.
The customizable presentation is available in PDF and PowerPoint templates, and the three fact sheets and the two public service announcements (the PSAs) are available in both English and Spanish.
Now the materials underway, those are in the pipeline, there's an update to what I just expressed, the Wellness Community Activation Kit. We're doing an update to that kit, and that is a product that went through extensive feedback from our Culture and Inclusion Subcommittee, and we're doing â€“providing all those updates and so that hopefully should be available before September to the public.
We're also developing a Step-by-Step Guide to Wellness and this guide communicates the role of wellness in achieving overall mental and physical health. It's basically extending longevity for persons with mental and substance use disorders and provides a description of which the Eight Dimensions of Wellness and wellness resources and information and how to personalize one's own objectives related to wellness.
And we just want to thank the Culture and Inclusion Subcommittee for their work—their really hard work—in providing their input on these two products.
And like I said, we'll have these products available for download on the Wellness Web site hopefully before September 1st.
And then another product that we're working on for 2014 is we're going to be doing a literature search, a literature review for a smoking cessation brochure and then we'll hopefully have that product available in the next—in the coming year.
Okay, and this brochure basically will include information and resources on smoking and mental health, and leading smoking cessation efforts. So that brochure should really have all this good information for your edification.
And then finally, we also have some communications that you all need to know about or are already aware of, and those are our biweekly updates to our wellness supporters. And this is something that we're going to continue to disseminate every two weeks, featuring upcoming activities, any events and wellness tips and resources to wellness, and to our supporters who have registered through our Web site.
And then we're also developing a wellness template presentation, and that's going to have talking points about wellness in general for all our champions to use for speaking engagements at upcoming conferences and events.
And then finally, this is a list of our resources that includes our SAMHSA wellness, how to get to our Web site on the SAMHSA Wellness Initiative. We also have the Food and Drug Administration Office of Women's Health link right here as well as the HHS Million Hearts®.
And then we also have SAMHSA's Recovery Month, a link to that, so you can get information. I just want to encourage each of you to visit these Web sites. They include very rich and informative resources from which you and your communities will benefit.
And lastly, I want to just extend a very special thank you to our dynamic wellness team, namely Ms. (Wilma Townsend) who's moved on to serve as the acting director for the Office of Consumer Affairs within SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
I also want to extend a very special thank you to Ms. (Brenda Foster), Ms. (Crystal Borde), Ms. (Kirana Bammarito), Ms. (Lauren Spiro), and Ms. (Ruth Montag), all of whom worked very diligently to launch this Webinar.
I also want to extend my deepest gratitude to our newest associate director of the Center for Mental Health Services, Office of Consumer Affairs, Mr. (Steve Fry), who was unfortunately unable to make the call, but he has been very supportive of this Wellness Initiative.
And then finally I wanted to just salute our speakers in whom you're going to be hearing from very shortly. And the persons are Ms. (Heart), Ms. (Candy) and Ms. (Harmon), and on behalf of the entire wellness team, we just want to thank you all for taking the time out of your busy schedules to share your perspectives on this very important topic.
You all are in for a treat. So I just want to now turn it over to Ms. (Crystal Borde) and thank you again for the opportunity to present on this Wellness Initiative.
(Crystal Borde): Thank you so much (Ammie) and thank you for sharing an overview of the SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative as well as encouraging everyone to be participating in National Wellness Week this year in September, and basically helping us better understand how important wellness is and recovery are to our communities, so thank you.
Now we're going to hear from (Katherine Heart). (Katherine) is the president of Heart Resources, LLC and a SAMHSA Voice Awards fellow. As a peer with lived experience, (Katherine) will share with us her compelling personal wellness journey, focusing particularly on how she improved her financial wellness and, thus, her entire well-being. Welcome (Katherine).
(Katherine Heart): Thank you and hello everyone. You can go to the next slide for me. Thank you. And I'm glad to be with you today, sharing my story of financial recovery and wellness. Let's go to the next slide.
I want to briefly tell you my story through these three photos. I survived nine years of child sexual abuse. I escaped and thrived. I earned an athletic scholarship and college degrees in health and physical education.
I managed non-profit fitness, health and victim's service training programs for 15 years. The photo on the left was taken at a conference where I presented a workshop about healing sexual abuse.
Just before a major life event triggered severe PTSD—Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—in me. From there on, I had 27 in-patient hospital stays. I began smoking for that quick high. I gained 125 pounds, developed high blood pressure and became a brittle diabetic.
By 2007, the middle photo, I was taking 14 medications and eight shots of insulin a day. I did eventually find a new treatment called brainspotting, which helped me to resolve PTSD.
And then I was ready to work on my physical health. I was at high risk for dying early from diabetes like my mother. I signed the SAMHSA's 10 by 10 Wellness Campaign pledge and created a personal 10 by 10 campaign, starting with a wellness bucket list, which is my name for a personalized list of health goals that I needed to accomplish to live a long and healthy life.
Over a five year period, I improved my exercise and health habits and worked closely with my health care team to resolve my health problems. By 2011, when the right-hand photo was taken, I was smoke-free, at a healthy weight, blood pressure and cholesterol, and able to manage my diabetes through diet and exercise.
I was able to taper off of all medications. I used the health risk appraisal tool at realage.com at the beginning of my campaign and found at the end of five years, that I had succeeded in my personal 10 by 10 campaign by improving my body's real age by 13 years. Next slide please.
Financial wellness is on my bucket list. My ability to work well and earn a living depends upon remaining healthy. It may be difficult to comprehend the financial ripple effects, but one study of the long-term economic cost of childhood psychological problems estimated a loss of lifetime earning power of $300,000 or more.
The retirement account that I started in early adulthood was drained to pay for my first hospitalization. A later bankruptcy due to medical bills destroyed my credit rating. Fifteen years of lost income and retirement savings while in treatment cannot be recovered.
I have received Social Security disability payments. The monthly payment placed my income at the poverty line. It's unlikely that I'll experience a conventional retirement. Next slide.
This is a hard reality but one of my mottos is: you cannot fix what you cannot face. I've used several strategies to improve my financial wellness. In the left column are the personal financial skills that I practice regularly, no matter how little or how much money I had to work with.
They include identifying realistic needs and wants for a healthy and safe home and lifestyle, setting up an annual budget and checking and savings accounts, and also monitoring and controlling monthly expenses.
In the right-hand column are the financial steps that were a little more challenging and I had to work on over time. They include building sources of income, taking a financial literacy class, resolving debts and improving my credit score, building an emergency fund, and setting long term financial goals.
Anyone and everyone can use these ten steps to improve their personal financial wellness. Next slide. So here are the steps that I took to reenter the workforce.
My career was an important part of my self-image and a really big loss when I became ill. Part of my recovery was figuring out what to do next. I found help by reading, reflecting and writing about my life purpose, using a spiritual book called, "The Purpose Driven Life Journal," by Rick Warren.
The journaling process allowed me to look back at my previous jobs and life experience to assess what activity gave me the most enjoyment. I realized that my greatest core strength was writing. It wasn't just a hunch or a feeling or a wish. I really had produced and saved many samples of my writing.
I confirmed my strengths through validated testing, through vocational rehab. So finding a job as a professional writer became my passion, and a real source of motivation.
I applied for and was hired as a technical writer to develop training and marketing materials for a psychology consulting firm. The job started as part-time and grew to full-time. I worked there for two years until the company moved to the West Coast.
So the career planning and reentry that I followed was identifying my purpose and passion, looking at my core strengths and skills, finding the right job that fit and were available, trying out jobs through volunteering or trial work, determining any needed accommodations and participating in training, coaching, and mentoring.
I found a job that fit all of the above and I gradually increased my work exposure, meaning the hours and time and tasks that I could do. Next slide. And getting ready for self-support, at that point I had the confidence to take on freelance writing jobs after the company moved away.
I thought grant writing might be a good fit because it combined my writing skills and non-profit experience. And I had taken a college grant writing course so I just refreshed my knowledge with some additional training.
I had never written a grant proposal but the director of a small non-profit let me try writing a volunteer grant proposal. And my first proposal was awarded $45,000 in grants. I was hooked on the meaningfulness of grant writing which is an in-demand career path.
The agency director became a grant writing mentor and also hired me for more projects. And then I followed her to two more agencies and have written many more grant proposals for other organizations.
This is a basic checklist for thinking about or getting ready for self-support. It takes personal initiative, in other words, being a self-starter and having motivation. It involves having an interest in learning how to run a business, having a marketable skill, product, and customers, who will buy what your business offers, and it involves having some support, especially if it's the first time that you've tried to start a business—coaching, having a place to work, having a network, and a plan for transitioning to independence is really helpful.
And persisting to get through challenges because there are always challenges in any situation involving a new enterprise or work. Next slide. Supported self-employment benefits in general, what I found are listed here.
What do I mean by supported self-employment? It's when an individual receives training and non-monetary support and assistance to launch a small business. This is usually a sole proprietorship, which is a business owned by one person.
So rather than having to fit a certain job description, self-employment can be based on strengths and skills, can be self-paced and flexible. It can be self-designed in terms of accommodations. And it helps build confidence. It can improve income level or be a better way to make a living.
And it can help with community re-integration since we're involved in the community. I like the fact that I cannot be fired from my own company. Next slide please.
Working Order Program, which helped me with business planning and marketing at my startup and a couple of points since then. Working Order was founded in 1996 and became a program of the Volunteers of America Pennsylvania in 2006.
It is a small business incubator for people with low incomes, disabilities or disadvantages. Working Order offers shared office space and equipment, coaching support to assess skills and test the business concept, develop business and marketing plans and accounting systems, to take on trial contracts, network with other entrepreneurs with different disabilities and abilities.
And Working Order is located in Sharpsburg, PA, near Pittsburgh, and some of the services are available online in Pennsylvania. Over half of the Working Order incubator participants start or grow their own businesses. And about one-third return to traditional employment.
Next slide. Here's my home office. Some days I teach grant writing and I have meetings in the community. Sometimes I pack up my laptop and work at my client's offices. The main accommodations that help me to work well here are a flexible schedule.
Writing grant proposals and managing a small business involves many different tasks. It helps to have the option of starting early when I feel mentally fresh, and sometimes going later when I have a deadline to meet.
I use a clock and calendar in my smart phone to stay on schedule. This is a quiet place. It's an environment that helps me to control sensory overload, especially sound.
My sensitivity to noise increases greatly with stress and also later in the day. And I have the ability to take breaks. When stress builds, I can take a few minutes to stop and breathe. I take regular breaks for meals and an afternoon relaxation or exercise break helps my overall stress be lower.
And there's no commute time. My clients are billed only for hours worked on their projects, not my breaks. Also this space is organized for my needs, abilities, and tasks. I've been able to compensate for memory deficits by arranging my office using visual aids to help me to stay focused and on track.
I've carried out complex writing projects such as Federal grant proposals here, and I've never missed a deadline. My company Web site shows the quality of my writing and high productivity possible in this home office and the Web site that I'm mentioning, the various resources I'm mentioning are on later slides.
Next slide please. Self-employment can offer individuals a greater sense of control over financial wellness and the financial results of my business include being debt-free and having a good credit rating today, a home and car today, purchasing computers for my business and these various benefits I think can be helpful to others, including developing a savings fund for emergency expenses.
And it helps, I believe, it's very helpful in terms of helping people find a way to thrive outside of systems of care so that would be community reintegration and an opportunity to escape disability-induced poverty.
Wellness is worth it. For example, becoming smoke-free is one habit I changed that has improved my wellness and ability to work, my life expectancy, as well as my financial wellness.
Since quitting my pack-a-day smoking habit six years ago, I have saved $9605.81. My company's been able to give back to the community by co-sponsoring Turtle Team, which is a fitness walking team for people in recovery to participate in the Pittsburgh Great Race 5K during National Recovery Month.
Next slide please. Here's a list of general resources where you can learn and find support for self-employment in many local communities. Next slide. Here are my personal favorite resources. For example, the couple of books at the top, really three books at the top, are really helpful.
Also the helpful Web site for providing a personal—helping a person build a personal budget is at onlinebudgetadvisor.com. The Working Order program Web site is here. And also the Small Business Administration's online tutorial helped me draft a business plan.
Last slide please. So here's the reference I discussed about long-term economic costs of psychological problems during childhood, and I want to add, too, when you get to my contact information slide, that there's a new blog at posttraumawellness.com, and it's on my contact slide and it's starting out with a series called, "Living the Wellness Wheel."
And also you can ask follow-up questions and discuss financial wellness immediately after the Webinar today on the blog at posttraumawellness.com. Thanks so much for listening.
(Crystal Borde): Oh, and (Katherine), thank you so much for telling your moving, inspiring story, especially for shedding light on how others here and persons in recovery can strengthen and improve their own financial wellness. And something to keep in mind that, "you cannot fix what you cannot face." What a very true epitaph that is for dealing with our financial wellness.
Our next presenter on today's Webinar is (Nora Candy). (Nora) is a project coordinator and a passionate peer advocate at Peer Link National Technical Assistance Center.
She will share with us information about Peer Link's program to empower peers and persons in recovery to take control of their financial wellness. (Nora), thanks for joining us.
(Nora Candy): Thank you so much and thanks, (Katherine), for your inspiring story. As a peer provider working for—if you could go back one—as a peer provider working for National Technical Assistance Center, I really straddle the boundary between lived experience and professional life in the mental health field.
Here's a picture of me doing one of my favorite wellness activities, which is playing music, and that's really integral to my wellness and that's what keeps me able to work in the field without burning out. Next slide.
So I'm here to talk about financial wellness through peer empowerment, specifically. Next slide. Mental health challenges bring with them oftentimes a lot of poverty. Users of mental health services frequently live in poverty, experience institutionalization, financial issues that are exacerbated by psychiatric distress or periods of hospitalization.
There are many ways mental health challenges can negatively impact our finances, for example, periods of depression or anxiety may keep us from opening mail or paying bills. Periods of mania can lead to overspending, and addictive behavior such as substance abuse, gambling and shopping addiction, can devastate anyone's finances.
Many of us who struggle with mental health issues have lost our right to make decisions about our own money, and money management is something that's really common in community mental health, where the service user's entire income is turned over to a representative payee, and that's someone who may or may not be chosen by the service user. And even though the practice is often involuntary, most money managers charge a fee for their services.
Once this happens, it can be a struggle to prove that we're competent to get control over our finances back. Next slide please. Here you can see the impact of poverty on mental health challenges. Many people who are receiving supplemental security income fall under these guidelines and you can see the disparity between the annual income of an SSI recipient and the Federal poverty guideline.
It's a difference of $2960.68 below the poverty level, which is really pretty significant. If you need to see that people who only get SSI income are far below the poverty level and I have personally experienced this.
When I was on SSI income, I often had trouble meeting basic needs such as food, clothing. And although I was in subsidized housing, there were many times I had to go to a soup kitchen or just go without food.
And things that most people take for granted, like having heat or a new clothing item were often out of the question. Next slide. Financial empowerment is an integral component of recovery and it's one of the dimensions of wellness.
It can't really be separated from dimensions such as employment, social inclusion, and emotional fulfillment. Gaining control of your finances has many benefits that you can see immediately and ones you can see later on.
And a strength-based approach that uses person-directed planning will build on the strengths the participant possesses and really puts the person in charge of their planning process.
Saving money can also be really fun and life-enriching, from eating better quality food to watching your savings add up. Even though it's tough when most or all of your resources are going towards the basics, such as food, shelter, and clothing, it can be really fun and empowering to set small, attainable goals that can add up to something big in the long run.
For example, when I was recently off work due to illness, I couldn't afford to buy personal hair products, so I did a little research and started making my own things like shampoo and skin care products. And not only was it cheaper, I found that I was making better quality things that I could afford even with more income.
And now that I'm back at work, I continue to make my own lotions and soaps and I found a hobby I really enjoy. I've been able to include many dimensions of wellness into this besides just saving money such as physical heath, as in getting beauty products without harmful preservatives and gardening herbs for making products, spiritual health and social when I share what I made with my friends. And emotional health because I feel like I'm taking good care of myself and for me, self-care is so integral to my recovery.
This is just an example of what we, as peer providers, can do for the people we work with. We share our personal stories. We can help people learn to become their own best advocates, increase self-confidence, foster independence and help establish personal power over finances.
Next slide. Peerlinks's National Technical Assistance Center is funded through SAMHSA and our training areas include financial self-sufficiency, wellness services and education, employment, and organizational development for peer-run organizations.
We are a project of Mental Health America of Oregon, a 501(c)3 organization and we're a Federally funded national consumer/survivor technical assistance center through SAMHSA. We work to strengthen the capacity and infrastructure of peer-run programs and traditional mental health organizations, and increase the capacity of generic community agencies to provide services to people diagnosed with mental illness that facilitate and promote social inclusion.
One of our focus areas is financial self-sufficiency. Next slide please. And the focus areas there are financial literacy, general information about poverty, poverty and mental illness, and savings and asset-building. Next slide please.
And I wanted to talk to you about one of our programs, which is our money basics curriculum. This is an eight-week course designed by Peerlink, with a focus on increasing knowledge about money and finances, improving financial skills, developing healthy financial roles and habits, and increasing confidence in participants' ability to handle their own finances.
And the really unique thing about this, is it's designed to be taught by peers to peers, so it's very specific focusing in on people who struggle with mental health challenges, with the facilitators coming from that background themselves to really share their personal experience.
The course is very adaptable depending on class participants' level with the different course topics. And an important component is to have the facilitators openly share their experiences with financial issues in the mental health challenges.
We found that this really helps set the tone of the class and builds trust with the participants. That being said, the facilitators are not expected to be experts on financial issues. The optimum size of the class is six to 12 participants. And next slide please.
We did a pilot run of the course here in Portland, Oregon and here are the statistics from the participant questionnaires. You can see that there was significant improvement in some areas and these are the topics that we really focused on in the training.
Right now we're going to be doing the pilot run of the "train the trainer" facilitator training and that's going to be happening in Reno next week, so we're really excited to be offering this. We're planning on going to Alameda County in July, I believe, to do our first "train the trainer" on the money basics. Next slide please.
Here are some of the class testimonials from our pilot run, and these are just so heartwarming. Although I was not a part of the pilot run, just seeing how people responded to being in the course, out of the 14 people who registered, nine people attended the first class and eight people graduated by attending at least six of the eight.
Next slide. And to wrap up, I just wanted to share some of my favorite resources. I've got some for budgeting and some for the homemade hygiene products I mentioned, and just the link to the Peerlink Technical Assistance Center financial self-sufficiency page. Thanks for letting me participate today and on to the next speaker.
(Crystal Borde): Great. Thank you so much, (Nora), and there's a second reference slide that we have up on the screen with some other references that (Nora) made during her presentation. So thanks again, (Nora), for sharing Peerlink's work on financial empowerment and wellness and your personal story and insights about this wellness dimension, as well. Peerlink's programs certainly are an inspiration to other peer-run organizations.
Our final presenter on today's Webinar is (Cardum Harmon). (Cardum) serves as a campaign manager for Alameda's County 10 by 10 wellness campaign, a wellness movement that takes a holistic approach to increasing longevity for persons with mental and substance use disorders by ten years in ten years.
(Cardum) promotes services, activities, and policies incorporating the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. (Cardum) will tell us about Alameda County's 10 by 10 wellness campaign and how it is incorporating financial wellness in California. Thanks for joining us, (Cardum).
(Cardum Harmon): Thank you and so glad to be presenting on this important topic and to be representing the Alameda County's 10 by 10 wellness campaign. And (Nora), we definitely look forward to having you come and offer the train the trainer series on money basics.
Today, I'm going to be talking about eating healthily on a tight budget. Next slide please. And next slide. So as you can see, Alameda County has re-envisioned the Eight Dimensions of Wellness and we've given them new names.
We've also started an Eight Dimensions of Wellness workgroup and this has really given us the opportunity to connect with others on all aspects of our lives involving the eight dimensions. It's also a great support tool and we all look forward to it every Monday.
In the last session, we explored how the dimensions of financial well-being, or as we refer to it, as "having enough," impacts us across the other dimensions. And I'll share a few of our responses. So on the "emotions," or emotional dimension, we found that there were certain ways that we felt when we had money.
So some of the responses were, "I feel empowered. I feel confident and secure about my ability to take care of myself and my family. I feel more relaxed, more at ease. I don't feel worried about how my needs will be met."
However, when we don't have enough money, the responses were, "I feel irresponsible, weak, and fearful. I feel pressured, high strung, and sensitive and I get depressed."
On the "connection" or social dimension, when we have money, we have the feeling of being more friendly, outgoing, more sociable. Without money, some said, "I feel dependent on others which makes me want to stay inside." Or, "I want to be alone."
On the spiritual dimension, or as we call it, "soul," when we have money, we feel hopeful and generous of spirit and we know that we're doing the right thing. And when we don't have money, the thoughts were, "I feel lost," "I feel forgotten," and "I feel disconnected."
On the physical dimension, or "body," when I have money, my body feels light and healthy. I feel excited and active. I have access to good food, medical attention and I can do things like go to the gym.
However, when I don't have enough, I feel weighed down and lethargic. I sleep a lot and eat unhealthily. On the intellectual dimension, or "mind," when I have money, I think expansively. My mind feels free. I feel more creative and I can take on special projects.
When I don't have enough, I think in small and limited ways. I feel weighed down, frantic, hard to concentrate and I have to wait a long time to do the things that I enjoy and on completing special projects.
And on "purpose," or occupational dimension, when I have money, I feel respected and valued in my work and I feel I can do anything. When I don't have enough money, I feel taken advantage of and disrespected and it feels hard to do the work.
On the environmental dimension, or "our world," when I have money, I'm conscience about how I interact with my world and those around me. I have a chance to do something good for my environment.
However, when I don't have money, I tend to care only about myself and how I will survive. So these were just some of the responses from the participants and overall, when there was a feeling of not having enough money, many of the group mentioned turning to their faith, the spirituality dimension, and that seemed to get them through the tough times.
So in Alameda County, we definitely recognize that employment is key to offering someone the opportunity to feel self-sufficient, connected and purposeful. So some of our county and non-county CBOs offer consumers career support as well as wellness services that address the whole person.
BestNow! is an example of one of those programs. One of the training programs that prepares participants to work is called the Supportive Employment Training or S.E.T. 4 Success.
Another component is the peer specialist training. And you can hear directly from the program coordinator, (Jamie Works-Wright) and one of the graduates of BestNow! by clicking on the link here.
BestNow! also, in terms of financial wellness, they explore people's thoughts about money and how their mental health has affected their money issues and vice versa.
They talk about ways to save and the importance of budgeting their money. They discuss things like credit, the advantages, the disadvantages, spending habits and look at real life scenarios.
CHOICES Learning Center, the CHOICES program makes a range of resources available to partners with the expectation that each partner will use the resources to build their wellness skills, knowledge, and experience to become self-sufficient and create a life in the community as sustained by relationships at home, at work, in school and in the neighborhoods where they live.
And CHOICES Learning Center does offer several classes on money management and financial wellness. They work closely with the domains of housing and employment and are following the IPS model, which is the Individual Placement and Support as a collaborative.
Next slide. So as part of the campaign, we've placed significant emphasis on healthy eating. The Health and Human Resource Education Center hosts healthy eating classes for the community and these classes are focused on the mind/body connection and holistic approaches to wellness and include watching food documentaries, taking trips to the farmer's market.
And this year, we are looking at a wonderful event. We had it last year. Last year was the first year, so this is our second WALK/MOVE for HEALTH. And we're partnering with peers and children's hospital and this is going to be an event open to family members, consumers, providers, and the community, and it's taking place at Lake Merritt in Oakland.
And it features a farmer's market with free food giveaways and live food demonstrations that will be prepared by the fresh produce. You'll see a picture up top of Sam Woo, who is one of the chefs who's going to be doing a live food presentation and he's representing Recovery Innovations.
Next slide please. So many studies point to a correlation between diet and emotion well-being, like the connection between a heavy gluten diet and depression, which is a symptom of celiac disease.
However, healthy eating, and particularly buying organic foods, can often extend beyond our financial capacity, especially for those of us who struggle with making ends meet due to reduced income or lack of steady employment.
And eating for well-being, as opposed to comfort, is sometimes also a challenge. I know that if I've had a bad day, I think about maybe drowning my sorrows in ice cream or chocolate or something salty or crunchy to get out of my emotional state and to escape my frustrations.
So one important element of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is paying attention to what types of foods we eat. Next slide please. Fast food and cheap eats—it's often the case that diets rich in processed foods can lead to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, which in turn can contribute to long-term health costs and lost time that we may spend in the emergency room.
And although fast food is thought of as being more cost effective, it's often lacking in important nutrients, dietary fiber, rich plant proteins. So sometimes you find that not long after you've finished a meal at a fast food restaurant, you're still feeling hungry. You may be feeling uncomfortable, and at the same time, we may have a very strong desire to go right back and buy more of that same type of food.
There's a reason for that and it's shown in many of the nutrition documentaries like, "Supersize Me," "Food Inc.," and "Food Matters," that certain foods produced by fast food chains contain addictive ingredients like sugar, like salt, fat.
And that causes the customer to want to come back again and again, therefore, spending more and more money for less quality food. Next slide please. So here are some examples of healthy food on a budget. How do you do it if your budget is tight?
We found that there are some resources that can help you find ways to eat healthily and still respect your budget. And you can also visit our Web site and be able to visit some of these links. We'll go over a couple of the links next. Next slide.
Web MD Web site gives suggestions on which types of foods that we can purchase for $2 or less and that will go a long way to provide valuable nutrition to you and your family.
Some of these examples are whole grain pasta, brown rice, beans, vegetables, yogurt. The Strong Lifts Web site shows how foods high in protein and low in cost can help you build muscle and lose fat such as eggs, ground beef, frozen chicken breast, as opposed to fresh chicken breast that can be a bit more expensive, cottage cheese and ground turkey.
Next slide please. The Great List Web site lists ten ways to eat well and to save. And they give you an idea of how to shop smart while you're in the grocery store such as make a grocery list, stick to it.
And what makes it easy to stick to it is that you don't go shopping when you're hungry. Now also buying more greens, choosing fresh or frozen options over canned, and if you can't grow it or raise it, don't eat it, such as monosodium glutamate doesn't grow on trees. Neither does high fructose corn syrup or yellow dye number 5.
Also avoid sweetened drinks unless they're sweetened with natural sweeteners like Stevia. Eat naturally sweet fruits and don't add extra sugar to them. Buy in bulk and divide into portions. Stick to the edges of the grocery store because a lot of the processed foods and packaged foods tend to be in the middle.
And when you get home, just remember to store the healthiest foods in the front of the fridge. Next slide, please. So for more on healthy foods sources, you can feel free to visit the Alameda County's 10 by 10 wellness campaign's nutrition and diet resources Web page. And the link is there below.
And if you're in town for May 10th, please do come to the WALK/MOVE for HEALTH. It's from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at Lake Merritt in Oakland. Thanks very much.
(Crystal Borde): (Cardum), thank you for telling us how Alameda County made the Eight Dimensions work for your community and taking our conversation to another, deeper level by discussing how our financial wellness can impact, or even be affected by other dimensions of wellness, so thank you.
(Cardum Harmon): You're very welcome.
(Crystal Borde): Before we open up the lines, we really wanted to ask our speakers one final question. What is your big vision for wellness, especially financial wellness among peers and persons in recovery?
(Ammie), why don't you start us off?
(Ammie Bonsu): Okay, can you hear me?
(Crystal Borde): Yes.
(Ammie Bonsu): Okay, great. Well, I can say that we definitely envision a future in which people with mental health and substance use disorders pursue optimal health, happiness, recovery, and a full and satisfying life in the community accessing a range of effective services, supports, and resources.
And we also pledge to promote wellness as we've been doing over the years and take action to improve the quality of life, and increase years of life for people with mental and substance use disorders.
(Crystal Borde): Thank you, (Ammie). How about you, (Katherine)? What's your vision?
(Katherine Heart): My vision is financial literacy will become widespread and integrated into the recovery process. And employment and training programs will include supported self-employment incubators that assist people with mental health challenges to plan and launch small businesses with individual accommodations that improve income, wellness, and quality of life and community reintegration.
(Crystal Borde): Wonderful (Katherine). Thank you. (Nora), what about you? What's your vision?
(Nora Candy): I envision a world where people who experience mental health challenges are encouraged to dream big and are given the necessary tools to reach their dreams. And a world where healthcare providers embrace the individual nature of wellness and recognize that people can build on their strengths to recover and live a full life.
(Crystal Borde): Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. (Cardum), how about you?
(Cardum Harmon): Well, the 10 by 10 wellness campaign vision is really over the next ten years, that Alameda County will be able to promote services, activities, policies that'll incorporate the Eight Dimensions of Wellness and really seek to increase the life expectancy of mental health consumers by ten years.
(Crystal Borde): Great. Wow, thank you all. Your visions are so inspiring and achievable if we all keep working towards a socially inclusive world, so thank you for sharing.
We will begin to take questions soon but first we want to share some other information. On Slides 62 through 65, we share the presenter's contact information.
Then you'll see on Slides 63 through 65, we also have brief biographies of today's presenters. Now let's take some questions from callers before our closing information. To ask a question, please dial "star 1" on your telephone keypad to be placed in the queue and give the operator your name.
If you do not wish your full name to be announced, then please only state your first name. Because time is limited, please limit yourselves to only one question or comment. After the operator announces your name, please ask your question.
Once you've asked your question, your line will be muted so the presenters may respond. And so while the operator works to gather our questions together and our callers together, I wanted to go ahead and ask the first question that we've received so far and this one is for (Cardum). This person says, "I'm impressed with the depth and breadth of wellness activities in Alameda County. How did your community go about changing the names of the wellness dimensions? I love the names."
(Cardum Harmon): Well, thank you. We have a very dynamic steering committee and this steering committee is composed of behavioral health care staff, providers, consumers, family members, and community-based organizations.
And our subcommittees, one of our subcommittees is a mental health awareness subcommittee and this subcommittee actually worked very diligently on redefining these dimensions because they wanted to make them more intimate, and in a way that anyone would be able to relate. That's an important part of one's own recovery journey, is that you are able to see this information and then also make it a part of your life. And so through a process of just sharing input and listening to each other, this is what came out of that subcommittee.
(Crystal Borde): Great. Thank you so much for sharing. Operator, do we have a caller on the line?
Operator: Yes, (Diane), your line is open.
(Diane): Hi. I have what I think is an interested and related point on Slide 22 when it talks about the years of lost income, I think of the years of lost income and savings of family members as well. About the time I would've received my education and then a career, I was looking after my daughter to facilitate her wellness and independence.
I did that into my late 40s and then started graduate school and I began working into my late—in my mid 50s, so—and now I'm experiencing difficulty finding employment because I don't have a work history even though I have 20 years of volunteer experience and Master's degree in counselor education. So I, myself, am experiencing lost income as well which has a financial impact on society.
(Crystal Borde): Thank you for sharing. Do any of our speakers have any recommendations or tips? Maybe, (Katherine), in your experience, was there something that you were doing that kind of helped turn your life around regarding that issue?
(Katherine Heart): Well, I think that what the commenter is stating is, in fact, truth. I was speaking about my experience as a trauma survivor, and that commonly children who experience trauma in childhood can have lifelong reduction in potential income, in part through spending a great deal of time in treatment and having their attention diverted from career development and things like that.
It can be helpful with long-term financial improvement, so that was my main point in making that statement, was about my own circumstances. And I absolutely think that the commenter has a very important point about families of children who have had this experience.
(Crystal Borde): Thank you (Katherine). It's definitely true how financial wellness does not just touched the person in recovery, but also their extended community, their family, their neighborhood, you know, people that are connected to them in different ways. So thank you for that. Operator, do we have another caller?
Operator: Yes, (Annie) your line is open.
(Annie): Hi, this question is for—is it (Nora)? I'm just wondering, you seem to have had great success with the training and I'm wondering if there was any kind of follow-up in terms of actually linking people up with products and services like bank accounts or anything like that?
(Nora Candy): Part of the training is to teach people how to become financially independent such as managing their own money and having their own bank account, so we do devote one of the lessons to opening a bank account and we encourage the trainers—and in the pilot, we provided people with resources for that. Does that address that?
(Annie): Yes, I just wondered if you have any information about what people—if the training actually led to more use of the products and services?
(Nora Candy): It does.
(Annie): Okay, great.
(Crystal Borde): Okay, wonderful. Operator, do we have another caller?
Operator: Yes, I don't have the full recorded name. Maybe it was (Sharon) or (Karen). Your line is open.
Woman: Yes, I wanted to know, are there any answers where to start where a person, especially young people, are just stuck and comfortable with their financial status and you know they can do better. Are there any answers for where you start?
(Crystal Borde): Maybe (Cardum)?
(Cardum Harmon): Yes, I was just thinking, you know, especially (Katherine)'s story, it's so important to identify what your passion is, and I think at any age, you can tap into what that thing is that you're really good at, and sometimes it just takes a little extra support and kind of unraveling maybe what that thing is, so for the person that you're referring to, I know we work with some transitional age youths.
And also for younger children, you know, they may have something that they do—that this person does very well and it can be often translated into some type of job, whether they start by volunteering their services in the environment that they enjoy being in, you know, or if they like shopping or if they like sports, you know, there're different places that they can go and volunteer or go begin working in those types of environments.
If they like being online a lot and Facebook-ing a lot, you know, there may be positions at certain non-profits that offer a social network coordinator or that type of thing. So I believe that everyone has a passion and it's just a matter of identifying it and then being okay with going in that direction and getting the support of friends or family members that, you know, that's really your thing. So here are the resources or maybe there are some ways that I can help point you in the direction of doing this thing that you love and actually getting paid for it.
Woman: Absolutely. I appreciate that.
(Crystal Borde): Great. Thank you so much. Operator, do we have another caller?
Operator: Yes, (Annie), your line is open.
(Annie): Hi, yes, it's me again. I have another question for (Cardum). I really loved your—telling the responses that you had about the different aspects of wellness and finances. And I just wonder, is that something that you've written up? Can we get copies of it? Is it documented anywhere?
(Cardum Harmon): Sure, actually, it was something that, when we did our Eight Dimensions of Wellness workgroup, we just handed out worksheets and asked the participants to fill in how these different dimensions, how they were impacted in these various dimensions when they had money and when they didn't. And these are some of their personal responses and I'd be happy to just send the responses. We'll keep their identities anonymous but...
(Annie): Obviously, but I found that very, very rich information that really says a lot about how difficult it is.
(Cardum Harmon): Wonderful, well, I would be happy to email that to you. My—I think my email address is on the contact slides.
(Cardum Harmon): Okay, you're welcome.
(Crystal Borde): Thank you so much. Operator, do we have another question?
Operator: Yes ma'am. (Hyacinth Charles), your line is open.
(Hyacinth Charles): Oh hi. I'm interested in getting a copy of your PowerPoint.
(Crystal Borde): The PowerPoint will be made available on the Wellness Initiative Web site and we'll be showing that URL shortly, before the end of call and it should be available in just a few weeks so that people can download them.
But the best way to find out when it is available is to make sure you sign up for our Wellness Updates, because as soon as those PowerPoints are made available, we share that information through our Wellness Updates.
(Hyacinth Charles): Okay, that's on the link that you put on your site just now.
(Crystal Borde): Yes.
(Hyacinth Charles): All right, thanks.
(Crystal Borde): You're welcome. Operator, do we have another question?
Operator: Yes, the name was not clear. I believe it might be (Darrell). Your line is open.
(Crystal Borde): Hi, go ahead, (Darrell).
(Crystal Borde): Go ahead, we can hear you.
(Darrell): Okay, I'm sorry, I wasn't speaking clearly. I had a personal question. I was looking through the slides to figure out who I'm actually asking it to. It's (Katherine), I think. I had a question about when you mentioned something about going through your recovery and to your retirement accounts. I've just been—about to be in my first year working and I was wondering if you had any insights into IRAs?
(Katherine Heart): I'm not sure I can answer that question. I think that what would be really helpful is if you could—many employers have people on staff and human resources who can help to answer some of those questions because each individual's financial situation is very specific. I don't have a specific answer for you. I would just encourage you to persist in looking for your own best answers on that.
(Darrell): I guess what I'm trying to ask is, are there, like, peer trainings on learning general information of what they are? Because, in case someone had a question about, like, what it is, to be able to know about those kinds of things, to answer those questions, like, those general questions.
(Katherine Heart): I wonder if (Nora)'s financial literacy program might cover some of that.
(Nora Candy): We do cover that and we're in the beginning stages of really marketing this curriculum, and it remains to be seen how many people want to use it, but yes, retirement accounts are something that are covered in our curriculum.
(Crystal Borde): Okay, thank you for your question, (Earl). Operator, do we have any other callers on the line?
Coordinator: There are no other questions at this time.
(Crystal Borde): Okay, so we'll take a few others that have come in. So this one is for both (Katherine) and (Nora) and the person says you have such an inspiring story. Can you say more about how you turned your life around and what helped you make that decision? So, (Nora), maybe you could start.
(Nora Candy): Yes, going from being totally dependent on the system to being fully self-sufficient and not having a gap in my employment history in the past 13 years has been quite a process for me.
I really put it down to the peer support I've gotten over the past 15 years or so, even though I've also received a lot of more traditional mental health services. It was the examples of people who were living something similar to my dream and who had pulled themselves up out of being engaged in the system that made me believe that I could really do it too.
(Crystal Borde): Great. (Katherine), how about you? What helped you make the decision to kind of turn your life around?
(Katherine Heart): Well, I think that probably—I'm almost chuckling because it's one of the questions that I get asked most often when I tell my story, is well, what was that turning point? And I have to say that, through a number of years of treatment, I never actually heard the word "recovery" until one younger provider said to me, the very last time I was hospitalized, "So, what are you going to do at the end of therapy?"
And it was one of those questions that kind of had—didn't have a clear answer, and it think my answer at the time was, "Not yet", so that was sort of my state of mind at the time, but I really went and—and because it was such an unusual question, it really made me think very, very carefully and helped moved my thinking forward instead of thinking and being so caught up in the past.
I found myself thinking and feeling like, well, somebody thinks that there's hope and someone thinks that I can finish therapy and I can finish treatment and I can perhaps do something with my wellness.
So it was really from that point on that I started to move forward instead of back and, in fact, that's really the whole point of starting my posttraumawellness.com blog, is about the metaphor of being on this path, and now I know that I'm no longer looking back and sort of absorbed in the past.
I'm present and I'm looking toward the future. I'm looking down the path and it's an exciting place to be. And it does take work and it does take a process, a step-by-step process where you determine where you are, kind of assess your goals and set some long-term goals and then just each and every day, practice wellness. That's been my sort of core process.
(Crystal Borde): Wonderful. Thank you (Katherine) and (Nora) for sharing that. Operator, do we have any other questions on the line?
(Operator): Not at this time.
(Crystal Borde): Okay, so we have one last question that's come in and this person is asking about that oftentimes financial wellness can be a really overwhelming issue to tackle, and so they're asking the speakers if they could recommend what could be the best first step, that just like how (Katherine) mentioned that wellness is kind of a step-by-step process. So what would be a really good first step to take to improving one's financial wellness?
(Katherine Heart): I'll start—and it's really—I know it sounds simplistic but, you know, really sitting with and assessing what is your financial situation? As I mentioned in my presentation, one of my mottos is, it's really hard to face something—it's hard to fix something that you can't face.
So if part of the problem is really not being clear about where you're at, and that can cause a lot of fear and anxiety. And it is really helpful to just sit down and just assess where you are each month and where you are overall and what are really then, and realistic needs and wants?
And then look at what possibly, if there're some disparities between what you're actually bringing in and what you have to spend on, to start looking at, okay, how can I improve this? How can I raise income or how can I increase my income to start meeting basic needs?
(Cardum Harmon): And this is (Cardum). I'd also like to piggyback on that, that you know, part of having that hope and that belief that something is going to change, sometimes you have to see it in order to feel it, and just as we were talking about the—re-envisioning the Eight Dimensions of Wellness to make it feel more personal, I find that when there's something that I'd like to manifest in my life, I'll create a vision board.
And I'll put on images of things that I would like to see myself having or doing, words that are motivating for me because it's also a—it helps to have a feeling tone for this is something that I can see that's achievable, and I can feel it, I can envision it happening for me.
And I think that's so important in recovery as well, is just knowing that as (Katherine) was mentioning before in her personal story, that there's hope and there's light and there is a reality that can come after this - the current experience, even though the current experience seems very overwhelming, that there can be another reality that can be very empowering.
(Crystal Borde): (Nora), is there a first step that you would like to share?
(Nora Candy): Yes, it's my belief that we all have a lot of strengths that we learn throughout our life that we use to get by, and so what I'd encourage people to do is to just sit down and write down what they're good at and what they know their strengths are.
And for me, that's always a really good starting point because it's positive. You can build on what you already know how to do, what you already know works for you. And just to remind—you know, I do have to remind myself that, hey, I am a valuable person. I do have skills, and when we get down, it can be difficult to remember that.
(Crystal Borde): Great. Wonderful. Thank you all for such thoughtful questions and thank you to our speakers for such thoughtful answers. We just wanted to share the contact information one more time. I know one of our attendees asked for (Katherine)'s blog title again, and as you can see it's www.posttraumawellness.com. And you'll also see the other contact information for our other presenters as well as on Slides 66 through 69 we have some brief biographies of today's presenters.
We also encourage you to join the ADS Center List serve to further—to receive further information on recovery and social inclusion activities and resources, including information about future Webinars.
And just in closing, thank you to (Ammie), (Katherine), (Nora) and (Cardum) for sharing your insights today. Thanks also to all of our listeners for caring about this topic and for taking time out of your afternoon to learn more.
As we mentioned earlier, this Webinar has been recorded and in few months' time will be available on the Wellness Initiative Web site. Next week you'll receive an email request to participate in a short, anonymous, online survey about today's training which will take about five minutes to complete.
Please take the survey and share your feedback with us. We'd love to hear from you. Survey information will be used to help determine what resources and topic areas are needed to be addressed by future training events.
We've come to the end of our time today. If you have any more questions or would like to follow up with us, please visit our Web site or email the Wellness Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the speakers directly via their contact information on Slides 62 through 65. Again, thank you everyone for joining us. And thank you in advance for completing our survey and have a wonderful evening.