A Universal Key for Whole Health

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by Matthew Federici, Executive Director

The Taking Action for Whole Health & Wellbeing program can “Save Lives!”  When I attended a SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration) Wellness Steering Committee, it became clearer that we need to shine a light on the whole health approach that is available through the SAMHSA-based Taking Action material and how active the concepts and approaches already is in the lives of so many of us.  The SAMHSA Wellness Steering Committee is a multidisciplinary Steering Committee representing “consumers”, providers, and researchers guiding national strategies to tackle the issues of whole health for people who are served by the mental health system as a result of the alarming number of people with mental health diagnosis who are having significant medical issues including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and are receiving inadequate access to medical care.  You can learn more about the committee at http://www.promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/10by10/

The Taking Action program is like a universal skeleton key that can unlock many aspects of wellness in one's life.  As a Co-Facilitator following the Copeland Center values and ethics, the workshop discussions and learning have always been one of whole health wellness and recovery; or recovery of our wellness.  Our focus on Hope, Self-determination, Empowerment, Education, Self-advocacy, Community Inclusion, and Building Support as a foundation for self-directed well-being and the planning process for recovering our wellness encompasses our minds, body, and souls.  The simple, accessible, and safe wellness tools we discover with each other, have benefits on multiple aspects of our health not just our thoughts and emotions.  

Million Hearts, another national initiative, is guided to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years and has joined forces with the Wellness Steering Committee.  To illustrate why, 73.7% of those with coronary heart disease in our nation have been identified as having 1 or more “behavioral health problem(s).” Obesity, diabetes, and smoking are three main areas discussed as contributing to the alarming numbers of premature deaths and linked to higher risks for heart problems.   These three aspects of wellness are also popular areas people have used WRAP to achieve significant positive results.  You can learn more about Million Hearts at http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/

 Here are just a few examples from real people who have used these key concepts and processes for action planning for multiple aspects of their health:

  • “Frankly, I use my action plan for everything in my life, and I do have health issues including diabetes. It is as important as my daily meds.....”  -Angel
  • “I have three: One for my Mental Health, one for my diabetes, and one for work. It is an amazing tool.” -Tammie
  • “I used my plans with my  buddy for weight loss and more importantly, as a tool to get through a Stage 3 cancer and 6 subsequent surgeries.”  -Margo

If you want to experience greater wellness not just based on one aspect of health but your whole health, then try joining a Taking Action for Whole Health & Wellbeing group.  If you want to improve the life span and whole health of people you serve in the mental health field contact the Copeland Center and bring a Co-Facilitation Course to your community. The time to "Take Action" and focus on our Whole Health and Wellbeing is Now!