High Point marked Mental Health Awareness Month on May 22 with an event that had the clients feeling great inside and out. Staff orchestrated a day of self-care that encompassed mind, body along with hair styles and manicure for the clients, all of which left them wanting more.
The self-care day helped the clients appreciate the importance of making time for all aspects of their health: physical, emotional and how one’s appearance lends to a feeling of self-worth and possibility. This holistic approach is in keeping with High Point’s treatment philosophy.
High Point staff did an outstanding job in setting up this day and creating an experience the clients will long remember. Contributing to the day was, among others, Zufall Health, a federally qualified health center, which provided an array of services. At a nutrition table was Zufall’s Kim Sepplelt offering three varieties of flavored water: strawberry, watermelon and mint with cucumber. The waters were refreshing and, as Seppalt point out, free of processed sugar, which is among the worst things a person can ingest.
Zufall was also doing general outreach to talk about the health services it provides to under-insured and uninsured individuals. They also signed up individuals interested in HIV testing, which will be done at a later date.
The mind/body link addressed through a yoga session led by yoga therapist Laura Nott. Ms. Nott created a program called “Gentle Chair Yoga and Meditation.” It was designed to loosen joints and including breathing exercises to promote relaxation. As the weather was beautiful, the yoga session was done outside the facility. After the session, Laura provided clients with handouts to guide them in doing the exercise at home.
The looking-good-is- feeling-good portion of the event featured hair stylist Michelle Gill. A number of clients came away very pleased with their new ‘doos.’ Gill has an organization, Color it Forward, which gives haircuts to women in “transitional situations.” In many cases they have recently left an abusive relationship and are a loss about their future. Color it Forward, as Gill stresses, “is in the business of self-esteem.” High Point staff added to the impromptu salon by doing manicures for clients. Program Director Anna Vitale participated by providing hand massages to clients.
To augment the clients’ new look, many of them received a piece of costume jewelry donated by Harvest Family Success Center in Flemington. Another organization in this vein, Dress for Success, could not participate but provide information about their services. Dress for Success, which has a chapter in Madison in Morris County, provides business attire to women in need, and it conducts workshops on a host of issues for people new to or long absent from the workforce and the job application process.
High Point is known as a second family to its clients (in some cases, their only family). The self-care day highlighted this commitment, but glimpses of High Point’s high level of care are evident every day.