Whole Health Action Management (WHAM) is a peer-led intervention program that helps individuals living with chronic health conditions to create sustainable new whole health behaviors, including physical, mental, and spiritual. WHAM empowers individuals to take charge of their health and wellbeing through effective self-management techniques and small, dynamic groups where each person provides support for one another in achieving their goals. Preliminary research shows that nearly 85% of WHAM participants have reached their whole health goals. Two key elements lead to success in WHAM: a proven process for learning how to activate and sustain new healthy habits and a group of supportive peers who are invested in each other’s success while working on their own health goals.
WHAM was created as a way to increase opportunities for the “peer workforce.” In the mental health and substance use world, a “peer” refers to someone who has lived experience and is trained as a mental health worker. With relatable and direct personal experience, a peer is a guide for others who are working towards long-term wellness and recovery for a mental health or substance use condition.
In 2016, in partnership with The Petit Family Foundation and The Hartford, Mental Health Connecticut certified peers to become trainers to help individuals in their community to create and work toward a whole health and resiliency goal, provide peer support to reach his/her whole health and resiliency goal, and facilitate in an 8-week whole health and resiliency peer group.
Delivered by the National Council for Behavioral Health, WHAM is supported by both the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and is founded on researched chronic disease self-management programs such as HARP (Health and Recovery Peer Program) and science-based health and resiliency factors like the Relaxation Response, developed by the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. This partnership and science-based approach speaks to the future of integrated health.
Mental Health Connecticut is the first organization to bring WHAM to the state. Programs like WHAM are instrumental in supporting and sustaining the long-term health of individuals because it allows individuals to access their innate capacity to heal. WHAM is a powerful program intended to strengthen the peer workforce’s role in healthcare delivery. It provides peer support professionals and volunteers with a format for 10-12 individuals to engage in 8-week WHAM groups and one-on-one support as the participants work toward achieving and maintaining whole health goals. The skills learned in WHAM help participants learn effective self-management tools and goal setting to help form new healthy habits that last a lifetime.
Congratulations to the WHAMmers who completed this training all over the state, including in East Hartford, Hartford, Milford, Meriden, Danbury, and Waterbury.
about mental health
Mental health and wellness are integral to whole health. However, it is not uncommon for people to experience times in their lives or in the lives of their loved ones when optimal mental health is unattainable. In fact, one in four people will experience a mental illness sometime during their life.
Assist with administrative tasks and external correspondence designed to educate the community about mental health issues, as well as other volunteer positions at our organization.