Learning Communities’ March agenda included continued brainstorming on recovery classes (now over 150 ideas!), how and where they might be taught, what resources are already available, and how to communicate the courses we can offer.
New ideas include medication education, nutrition, Pilates, yoga, meditation, projects (such as collages), massage therapy, haircuts, pedicures and manicures.
How and where should classes be offered?
Some could be taught at NLCMHA or drop-in centers, with experts/instructors we bring in, including nurses, health care providers, and community, consumers and staff who have experience in a particular area. In other cases, we could collaborate with others who are already offering classes with whom we might trade instructors and coordinate offerings (such as Munson’s Health Education Program and/or medical clinics). We can widely share Consumer Advocacy Council presentations on employment, housing, and transportation. We can also take advantage of classes already held in a wide variety of places, such as community colleges and YMCA, and other resources such as Love, Inc.
People at Learning Communities think that all our recovery classes should be open to everyone, including family and community. Transportation and financial assistance should be provided when needed to the extent we are able.
To communicate what is available…
…we should reach out to people who are not currently involved. One idea is to have a board near where people sign in for appointments which lists class schedules and explains transportation options. We can use monthly handouts, scrolling TV-type screens in the offices, the new signs and Recovery Corner lobby towers which are on order now, community calendars in newspapers and on TV. Each month, we could focus on a separate theme of recovery.
In other business, the Learning Communities brainstormed ideas for next year’s Mental Health Block Grant Proposals.
Some are: theater group, choir/music group, micro-enterprise support, poetry, recipes for a recovery cookbook, coffeehouse, dance, creative writing, youth outreach, hosting a recovery fair (booths), fundraisers like carnivals with face painting and dunk tanks, mini classes, art recovery picture or postcard book, massages, and spiritual avenues.