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What is WellFest Ohio
Wellfest is an arts-based, street-style, community festival that celebrates the wholeness of life. Our purpose is to create an event that engages, energizes, and empowers individuals, families, organizations, businesses, and communities in holistic health, wellness and recovery. We are committed to bringing together the people; the places; and the resources that support all Ohioans in Living Well. Our goals are to :
Create a safe place where healing, hope, happiness, and LOVE can flourish
Increase awareness and knowledge about holistic health, wellness, and recovery
Build relationships and community
Promote creative and performing arts
Provide edutainment which is entertainment that accompanies learning and experiencing
Our ultimate aim is to improve the health and quality of life for all Ohioans
The Wellfest Worldview
Our worldview is one of limitless possibilities for holistic wellness and recovery that supports our human potential for achieving richer levels of wellness and the fulfillment of our dreams.
It is our vision that all Ohioans live in safe, healthy, well, and thriving communities. Each of us has a stake in this vision and each of us can give a hand in making this vision a reality
What We Value
At the most basic and root levels, we value relationships. For our purposes, we define a relationship simply as a way of being with others. That is, we see others as equals in every way and honor them as such through our actions. Guided by the universal concepts of love, safety, trust, mutuality, respect and high regard, voice, and choice, we espouse to establish relationships built and sustained on the following principles.
Equality- We believe that no one is any better or has any higher value than anyone else
Honor- We treat people with dignity, compassion, respect and unconditional high regard
Acceptance- We fully accept people exactly as they are, as unique individuals
Validation- We validate “the lived experience” .We value what people have learned and what they have to teach.
Person-Centered Expertness-We believe that each person is the expert on her-or himself
We believe that when the above values are applied people will respond likewise. Value begets value. We will see real mutuality at work when we value others as true equals. Relating to others in this spirit will draw forth the gifts that uplift both parties.
As part of SAMHSA’s National Wellness Initiative, National Recovery Month, and National Wellness Week, We are proud to host our 2nd annual event Wellfest/WellJam OHIO 2013.
Our inaugural event was held on September 20, 2012, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, on the Ohio Statehouse lawn. With 14 exhibitors, several artists and musicians, invited guests, and the general public attending the event, we were able to share in a wonderful experience together. We made friends, networked, connected with others, danced, listened to music, and had lots of fun.
One of the highlights of Wellfest 2012 was the Community Line Dance where we came together with other community line dancers across the state to show our unity, dedication, and commitment to building communities of wellness in Ohio.
Out of last year’s experience, three of the musicians who performed at Wellfest decided to get together and form a group that focuses on holistic wellness and recovery through images and sound. Today the group is known as The WellJam Experience and they are performing, at various venues, in communities, across Ohio.
From last years event till now, we have come a long way. The hours for this year’s event have more than doubled from 3 hrs. to 8 hrs. We will also have double the number of exhibitors, participating artists and performers. 2013 will also include the addition of vendors, food, and awards.
To support Wellfest Ohio 2013; to keep the dialogue flowing about wellness and recovery; and to open the space for all Ohioans to be able to participate in holistic wellness and recovery, we have created;
the wellfestohio,org website
the Wellfest Ohio Facebook page
the Wellfest Ohio Google+ page
As a result, we are making it more inviting, accessible and easier for people to get involved and participate in WellFest Ohio 2013. Moreover, we will use the website, facebook, and google+ as a way to engage, energize, and empower people in their wellness and recovery on a continuous and ongoing basis.
No longer can we call this just an event! Wellfest is is alive!
Wellfest was born out of the hard work, sacrifice, and dedication of the people who make up “The Wellness Management & Recovery Community”. Wellness Management & Recovery (WMR) is more than a program or initiative, it’s a way of life. And that way of life, is one that is based on holistic, person-centered, multicultural appropriate, integrated and coordinated health care for all Ohioans.
What is Wellness Management & Recovery
Wellness Management & Recovery (WMR) is a nonprofit organization that provides education, training, and support for recovery from mental illness and substance abuse. WMR programs enhance the skills and competencies of consumers, healthcare providers, and the general public to strengthen recovery. WMR provides services with: An emphasis on holistic health and wellness
A dedication to civic engagement;
Engage in action research and community based participatory research initiatives;
Facilitators of leadership development;
Commitment to building and sustaining communities of wellness.
The history of WMR began with the Recovery Movement in community mental health. In the early 1990s, the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) supported research about recovery from the perspective of people who experienced mental health and substance abuse challenges. Knowledge gained from this research led to the development of consumer-operated programs and agencies that supported recovery in unique ways. Peer support programs, peer-led education and self-help groups, and holistic wellness activities were developed. The first toolkit on recovery was developed for providers as an emerging best practice in behavioral healthcare.
In partnership with ODMH, the Wellness Management and Recovery Coordinating Center of Excellence (WMR CCOE) was created to advance the technology of recovery in Ohio. The partnership with ODMH made research and development support available for programs, and helped WMR create effective person-centered healthcare activities and programs.
Over the last six years, WMR has worked with consumers, agencies, and communities in 26 diverse settings across the state of Ohio. WMR provides practical tools for recovery and wellness for people living with psychiatric illness. The organization also helps healthcare and behavioral healthcare providers learn about recovery and integrate recovery principles and practices as part of treatment. Organizations that provide WMR programs offer new and unique options for recovery, and program participants experience better outcomes and greater self-determination in reaching their wellness goals.
One of the key WMR programs is a small group learning program for adults who have a mental health diagnosis and may have co-occurring disorders including substance use. The program helps people develop better decision-making skills, positive expectations, and more healthy lifestyles through modeling behaviors and practicing new skills. Participants set individual goals and identify behaviors they want to change. WMR sessions are not classes, lectures, or forums. They are interactive sessions that have both an educational and an entertaining aspect.
They create a context through which people can examine their goals, develop skills to enhance their recovery, and receive feedback from others
WMR also provides recovery-oriented events, activities, and learning opportunities. The organization encourages people to get involved in holistic activities that develop mind, body, and spirit to promote recovery in a broader context. WMR has sponsored events that teach self-expression through art, music, dance, and other performance arts.
The agency also sponsors events that connect people with alternative healing therapies such as Reiki, yoga, Qi Gong,
Wellfest is ever evolving and growing, Soon to become the premiere event of it’s kind in Ohio, we look forward to continuing to bring together the people, places and resources that support’s Ohio in building and sustaining communities of wellness for all of its citizens
Wellfest Ohio is scheduled, organized, and coordinated to align with SAMHSA’s Wellness Initiative-Promoting Wellness for People With Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions, National Recovery Month, and National Wellness Week.
Since 2007, SAMHSA has promoted the improved wellness of people with mental health and substance use conditions by engaging, educating, and training providers, consumers, and policy makers. SAMHSA partnered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health (FDA/OWH) to disseminate wellness messages and motivate individuals and community organizations to take action through a Pledge for Wellness. Already, more than 3,000 national and community organizations are taking action for wellness.
In 2011, SAMHSA and FDA/OWH launched the first National Wellness Week as part of SAMHSA’s National Recovery Month. National Wellness Week takes place during the third week of September. During National Wellness Week, the aim is to inspire individuals, families, behavioral health and primary care providers, and peer-run, faith-based, and other community organizations to improve their health behaviors, while also exploring their talents, skills, interests, social connections, and environment to incorporate the Eight Dimensions of Wellness into their lives as part of a holistic lifestyle. National Wellness Week’s overarching theme every year is Living Wellness, to emphasize that no matter which dimension of wellness we focus on, our ultimate goal is to live well—within our bodies, minds, and communities. The theme also shows that wellness is not static or finite; rather, it’s a continuous journey.
In their inaugural year,SAMHSA mobilized more than 100 peer-run, faith-based, and other community organizations—including schools, clinics, and employers, as well as behavioral health and primary care providers—to organize activities during National Wellness Week, to host events, or promote messages encouraging theEight Dimensions of Wellness.
National Wellness Week 2013 Schedule Monday, September 16
Overview of Eight Dimensions
Overarching activities about SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative, National Wellness Week, and how the Eight Dimensions help people recover and build resilience, especially when confronted with traumatic, mental health, or substance use challenges.
Tuesday, September 17
Activities promoting healthy behaviors, including smoking cessation, physical activity, nutrition, adequate sleep, and safe medication use.
Wednesday, September 18
Activities encouraging individuals to participate in the Artistic Expression for Wellness national activity, such as writing poetry or developing artwork. Also, messages inspiring creativity and mentally stimulating activities, such as writing poetry or teaching others about one's area of interest.
Artistic Expression for Wellness national activity
Thursday, September 19
Activities encouraging incorporating pursuits such as meditation, prayer, or music into one's efforts to enhance recovery.
Friday, September 20
Social and Emotional Dimensions
Activities encouraging individuals to join the Line Dance for Wellness in communities across the country. Dancing is a great stress reliever and also provides social interaction. Individuals can also incorporate the social and emotional dimensions in a variety of other ways, such as volunteering, joining a book club, or simply spending more time with family and friends.
Line Dance for Wellness national activity
Saturday, September 21
Financial and Occupational Dimensions
Activities promoting tips and support on how to manage one's finances. Encouraging individuals to explore work opportunities that will provide satisfaction in their lives.
Financial dimension national activity (please check back periodically for more information).
Sunday, September 22
Activities promoting ways individuals can improve healthy environmental surroundings to support their physical and mental health.
Why We Need Holistic Wellness and Recovery
The President of the United States, The Department of Health & Human Services, and the rest of the nation have seen the need to make mental health a priority by announcing “ A National Call To Action for the Wellness of People With Mental Health and Substance Abuse Challenges”
SAMHSA says it best by stating, “The early mortality rates of people with serious mental health problems—with decades of life lost—have recently received much-needed attention. This disparity in life expectancy is unacceptable. People with mental health problems deserve to live lives that are as long and as healthy as other Americans”.
As the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) Medical Director's Council reported the “increased morbidity and mortality are largely due to treatable medical conditions that are caused by modifiable risk factors such as smoking, obesity, substance abuse, and inadequate access to medical care.”
Among the variety of causative factors resulting in this disparity are: higher rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and infectious disease (including HIV); higher risk factors due to high rates of smoking, substance abuse, obesity, and “unsafe” sexual practices; increased vulnerability due to poverty, social isolation, trauma, and incarceration; a lack of coordination between mental and primary healthcare; stigma and discrimination; side effects from psychotropic medications; and an overall lack of access to healthcare—particularly preventative care. In addition to the tragedy of early death, it should also be noted that the higher rates of acuity of health conditions result in greater health costs to the nation.
There are also multiple strategies that need to be employed to effectively address this issue including:
improved data collection to track, measure, and monitor co-morbidity and mortality and systems effort in reducing this disparity;
identification, evaluation, and adoption of effective policies and practices—including financing—for prevention/health promotion, screening, and access to quality, integrated, individualized care and treatment that fosters recovery;
training and education of consumers, youth, families, providers, and administrators; and
leadership and advocacy to influence and effect needed change.
In addition to NASMHPD, a range of groups have begun to address these issues including providers, advocates, consumers, researchers, families, and others. The reduction and elimination of this disparity, however, will require a coordinated and strategic approach among all stakeholders. The public health crisis of early mortality can be solved. People with mental health problems and their loved ones are relying on us moving from attention to action to ensure that every American has equal access to our fundamental ideals: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Nationally, 44.7 million adults aged 18 or older experienced any mental illness in the past year, corresponding to a rate of 19.8 percent. You add to those numbers to the millions of children, teens, and the countless millions of others who go undiagnosed and untreated and you can see why we need to, as the Ohio Department of Mental Health’s says in its mission statement,
“Our mission is the promotion and establishment of mental health as a cornerstone of health and wellness for individuals, families and communities throughout Ohio”
Tracy J. Plouck, Director of Ohio’s Department of Mental Health said” During 2010, Ohio’s public mental health system provided care to approximately 360,000 people, including more than 120,000 children and 11,000 people above age 65. Nearly 6,800 adults received treatment in our regional psychiatric hospital system. These large numbers represent only those receiving direct services and do not include the thousands of Ohioans who benefit from prevention, education and outreach”.
Each year in Franklin County, over 35,000 people receive services that promote recovery from ADAMH-funded agencies. Thousands more work with counselors, social workers, physicians, nurses, and others working in privately-funded clinics and practices. According to a national survey conducted in 2010, one in five adults in the U.S. had a mental illness in 2010, with people ages 18 to 25 having the highest rates.[ii] In 2004 the US Center for Disease Control estimated that 25% of adults in the U.S. reported having a mental illness in the previous year.
These data show that mental health is a very important issue that affects most families every year. Mental health is also a difficult subject for most families to discuss due to the stigma attached to receiving treatment. Distinct from treatment, “recovery” applies to everyone to some degree, because everyone faces challenges in life that require support, encouragement, and new skills and activities. WellFest 2013 is a vehicle to promote recovery and break through the stigma and stereotypes about mental health and substance abuse that are prevalent.
The event promotes recovery concepts that help people make positive changes and build a supportive community of families, friends, and neighbors.
How can I participate in Wellfest?
Simple! Any way you want to. You choose. Tell us how you want to participate. Listed below are just some of the ways to participate in Wellfest:
Join our Planning Committee
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