MHC wellness programs
All too often mental health is placed in its own category, as if our emotional, spiritual, and psychological health are somehow unmoored from our physical and general health overall. At MHC, we are out to debunk that myth by inviting people to find nontraditional pathways to healing and wellness.
Participants in our wellness programs make tremendous leaps in their wellness journey. Time and again these unique pathways create a ripple effect of hope that results in action. Many participants achieve goals in acquiring new skills or expressing creativity, and then make other changes that lead to gaining independence, embracing self-advocacy, decreasing symptoms of their mental health conditions, and rejoining the community in a meaningful way.
MHC’s wellness programs include:
Gardening, Recovery, and Opportunities for Wellness (GROW)
Program participants gain the therapeutic benefits of gardening and new work skills while producing fresh vegetables, herbs, and plants for MHC and underserved communities. In addition to therapeutic benefits, clients get healthy vegetables to eat, and MHC can donate to food shelters and sell produce to help fund the GROW program.
Numerous studies and research prove how art is linked to wellness and recovery. For many, Mending Art has been a stepping-stone towards rejoining the workforce, going back to school, reconnecting with family and friends, and becoming active in the community.
Mending Art from Mental Health Connecticut (MHC) began in 2013 as a casual meetup of 3-4 interested program participants at MHC’s Independence Center (IC) in Waterbury, CT. Mending Art now reached hundreds of MHC program participants and hudres more inthe community. Mending Art’s homebase is now located at the Five Points Arts Center in Torrington, CT, allowing for more community-based collaborations.
Nutrition as An Intervention
Can improving nutrition and strengthening community ties improve one’s mental health and overall wellbeing? How can we address the social determinants of health through nutrition? MHC is partnering with Healing Meals Community Project and others to explore these questions and much more.
In 2019, the University of Hartford’s Center for Social Research conducted a small pilot study, “Nutrition As An Intervention for Individuals Living With Mental Health Conditions,” to explore the impact of nutrition and mental health. This initiative is now in Phase II of its expansion.
For more information, contact Chief Strategy Officer, Suzi Craig: email@example.com
Each of us has a story to tell. But, how does that story define who we are and where we’re going? Write On! has shown to be an effective intervention in defeating self-stigma and breaking the chain of negative events.
MHC’s Write On! Program was created by Janet Reynolds, an award-winning writer, editor and formers high school English teacher who has created nine magazines and is an award-winning investigative journalist. Write On! is designed for individuals who want to find their voice and share their truth through the healing power of writing and storytelling. Participants leave Write On! with advanced writing and storytelling skills, new ways to cope during times of emotional distress, and the confidence to share their story in a way that demystifies mental illness and ends stigma in their community.
The University of Hartford’s Center for Social Research, known for its interdisciplinary expertise and its mission of strengthening communities through research, recently studied the Write On! program. According to the study’s findings, “Self-stigma undermines the recovery process. Interventions targeting self-stigmatizing beliefs can potentially break the chain of negative events. The Write On! Workshop, hosted by Mental Health Connecticut, is one such intervention.”
Write On! Collaborations and Workshops
MHC also offers custom Write On! webinars and workshops. To watch the workshop MHC created for Mental Health America (over 600 participants attended), click on this link: “Writing Through Lived Experience: Writing to Support Your Mental Health Journey”
MHC joined forces with Mental Health America’s (MHA) popular mental health awareness campaign IDONTMIND to launch a nine-week virtual writing workshop with Write On! creator, Janet Reynolds. Modeled after MHC’s Write On! program for young adults, the IDONTMIND Writing Workshop was the first time this program has been offered to a national audience. Final pieces from the workshop can be found at their website: https://idontmind.com/writingworkshop.
MHC has also created an online course called “Discover Your Inner Writer.” The course includes 6 videos and is designed for individuals, mental health professionals, and educators to learn how to build a writing practice and gain its healing benefits for their own wellbeing and for others.
Contact Amy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more
To listen to the stories from Write On! Alumni, find the “Telling Tales” podcast on You may also listen to these stories on iTunes, Spotify, Anchor, Google, Breaker, Pocket Casts, and RadioPublic.
For a visual representation of these stories, visit www.mhconn.org/telling-tales (each story is animated with transcription).