Caminar for Mental Health‘s Bridges to Wellness program has been in existence since 2011, serving 35 district residents with persistent and severe mental illness, most of whom have multiple medical conditions.
Our program nurses establish baseline data for all clients and then through coordinating care and enhancing education, help our clients lead healthier lives. Clients have demonstrated significant improvements in health outcomes such as weight reductions, decrease in tobacco use, improved insight into their physical health, and ultimately, improvements in psychiatric health.
I started coming to the smoking and nutrition groups in October 2013. I’ve learned about things like how the heart pumps, how to reduce the risk for getting diabetes, and how smoking affects my blood pressure. I know more about my body now, and I feel like there is more I can do to improve my own health.
– Michael, Bridges to Wellness program participant
I get a lot out of the diabetic group class. I’m learning more about diabetes so I know how to take care of myself. These groups make me feel like I’m not alone in my struggle with diabetes. I am also happy to learn to stop smoking for my loved ones. I feel I am more aware of making excellent decisions in what I eat and how I live. I have learned to save my own life by making wiser choices. Thank you for funding the classes for me.”
– Barbara, Bridges to Wellness program participant
Bridges to Wellness Success Story
A client who has benefited from Bridges to Wellness services is a 58 year-old man with a history of recurrent and severe major depressive disorder. He recently had a prolonged episode of depression, during which time he was unemployed and sedentary. His weight increased, which led to diabetes. He ate poorly, neglected his general health, did not exercise, and had suicidal thoughts on a daily basis. He joined the Bridges to Wellness program last year, and enrolled in the walking, nutrition, and diabetes groups. The Bridges to Wellness nurse helped him coordinate his medical and dental appointments, and encouraged and motivated him to improve his physical health. As he became more active and engaged in groups and activities, his mood improved steadily. He began exercising more, and his weight dropped over 30 pounds. He now exercises five days per week at the YMCA and jogs 1.5 miles on his own. He got a job in his desired field and has flourished there. He works 28 hours per week and has just started two computer classes. For the first time in 12 years, has started driving again. His health has improved dramatically and his depression is now in remission. Clients such as these mentioned here have been able to improve the condition of their health, and therefore the quality of their lives, because of the services that the Bridges to Wellness program offers.