*All videos are Closed Captioned on Youtube*
Dancing, flu shots, turkey chili, learning how to use a fire extinguisher as well as bone density exams all in one day? That’s right, The Harris Center’s Wellness department hosted it’s 5th annual Health and Wellness Fair in which employees were able to participate in different activities as well as learn about different resources community partners and vendors had to offer.
“Education is key, a lot of times we don’t know what’s out there, whether it’s with United Health Care, MyCigna or with Wells Fargo,” HR Employee Services Manager Shamekia Moss said.
The fair’s theme this year was from Couch to 5K with the goal being to “get you off the couch and moving. So even if it’s a little step, it’s a step to a healthier lifestyle,” Moss said.
“[It was my] first time at a Health Fair, I learned that you really need to incorporate all aspects of your life to stay healthy, so not just physically but also medically, spiritually and mentally. It’s a great promoter on living a healthy lifestyle,” said Care Coordinator Grecia Cuevas.
At this year’s Health and Wellness Fair around 484 employees participated with over 34 vendors present. BMI, bone density tests, and over 170 immunizations were provided to staff. Additionally, over 112 people had their blood pressure checked. Congratulations to everyone who attended.
For those employees who are not located at 9401 Southwest Freeway, the Wellness department may be at your location offering different wellness activities including flu vaccinations. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to live a better life style, reach out to Wellness@TheHarrisCenter.org
When D. Danielle Hale, Ph.D., arrived as a new employee at The Harris Center, her first assignment was facilitating a group with male inmates at The Harris County Jail that was part of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Program. Nine years later, Dr. Hale’s list of responsibilities as the now-Lead Psychologist for the Adult Services Program of The Harris Center’s Mental Health Forensic Services Division has grown to include overseeing additional programs in the Jail and the supervision of a dozen employees. However, she continues to facilitate the same group she was first assigned in 2007. According to Dr. Hale, “That’s where my joy is, where my passion is.”
The CBT Program focuses on helping those who participate learn how to better handle everyday situations and choices, something many of these inmates may not get the chance to do otherwise. Housed together in one unit within the Jail, about twenty men are part of the CBT Program at any given time. They are referred to the program by The Harris Center staff providing mental health services in the Jail, Jail staff or they may self-refer. Participants may remain in the program for up to five months while in the Jail, and the ages of those in the program have ranged from 18 to over 60.
Eileen is a 24 year-old woman diagnosed with a severe intellectual and developmental disability. Because of her diagnosis, Eileen has had to endure several unique challenges. One challenge in particular has caused Eileen some distress over the years - not being able to control her urination and defecation, having to wear supportive undergarments since she was an infant.
What does recovery look like? When you fracture a bone, you get a cast to help it heal. Once the cast is off and you are able to return to normal activities, it is assumed that you are recovered from the fracture. For those living with mental illness, though, recovery is not as simple to define because each person’s journey is unique. The children and adolescents who visit our Southwest Family Resource Center are illustrating their individual stories of recovery in a colorful and visible way by creating recovery posters.
HOUSTON, October 1, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the vulnerability of individuals who are homeless and have mental illnesses. It is not only the unhealthy conditions on the streets that make the unsheltered homeless “at-risk” to COVID-19; most suffer from underlying, chronic health conditions. An estimated 15-25% of individuals experiencing homelessness throughout Harris County and the greater Houston area suffer from severe mental health issues making it difficult for city, county and local partners to quickly assist and house them out of harm’s way. Social distancing requirements have also reduced homeless shelter capacity. These extremely acute individuals have a large impact on first responders and hospitals by routinely requiring emergency intervention. These individuals increase the risk of COVID-19 exposure to first responders and the community
Kim Tope is a licensed master social worker and a certified anger resolution therapist. More pertinent to her current role at The Harris Center, Kim is also a certified peer specialist who uses her own lived experience in recovery from mental illness to help those who find themselves in need of support and treatment through a one-of-a-kind program in Texas known as The P.E.E.R.S. for Hope House.
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The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD strives to provide high quality, efficient, and cost effective services so that persons with mental disabilities may live with dignity as fully functioning, participating, and contributing members of our community, regardless of their ability to pay based on a sliding scale rate schedule.
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