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Our last days!



I am sad to say that The WIC will be closing for good in June 2014. We have had a good run.  As Spock said  in Star Trek II  – The Wrath of Khan, ” The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”   The money that has been given by The Alaska Mental Health Trust for our club house like model will go to strengthen other peer run organizations while our services will be  absorbed into Anchorage Community Mental Health.  The Alaska Mental Health Trust and The AK Division of Behavioral Health will be focusing more on employment for people with mental health disabilities, particularly individualized supported employment in community businesses.  We hope to help with that in some way.  

If you look at our calendar page you will see that we still have some events going on for May.  The Drama group will perform at the Arts and Disability  Forum at the BP energy center at 11:45 am on Monday May 12th.   We will have a cookout on Thursday May 15th and a final cookout on Thursday June 5th. That will be our final hot lunch. Sandwiches and sodas will be served Tues, Weds  & Thurs June 10-12th for those who come to help us clean up.


What will we miss about the WIC? That will take at least another post!!!


Until then, Live Long and Prosper!



Spring Drama Project!

Call us crazy, no don’t do that, call us people in recovery, but we have lots of projects going on at The Wellness Innovations Center and here’s one more!

Spring Drama Project

The History of Psychiatry –Abbreviated


Writing and rehearsals begin

Weds. March 5th  12:15 pm

 at The WIC

 2735 E Tudor Road


All welcome!

Please call Joan at 762-8652 for more info

We are going to create this one and take it on tour! We need the help of anyone in the recovery community who would like to help.  It could be a musical, it could be based on a book like The Suitcase Project. We are going to see what fits best with the group we have.  Even if you can only come once or once in a while, come check us out.  There is no fee for this group as it is a recovery project funded by The Alaska Mental Health Trust.


Mental Health First Aid Training at The Wellness Innovations Center

Mental Health First Aid Training
For people in recovery

mental health first aid

Thursday January 23rd & Friday Jan 24th
From 10:00 – 3:30 pm both days
Lunch is included
This is an 8 hour course and you must attend all 8 hours to receive a certificate.

Mental Health First Aid
is an in-person training that teaches you how to help persons developing a mental illness or in a crisis.
Facilitators will be Joan Cullinane & John Sperbeck
Please call Joan at 762-8652 to register

No easy answers

Any time I read an article or better yet a comment on an article which is “know it all” or negative I try to move on and not obsess about it.  Sometimes these issues come back over and over again then I think – what is my part in this.

I read this article the other day in which the author sounded very concerned about the future of mental health being in the hands of people who are in denial of their own illness.  It is a critique of the Alternatives Conference which is an annual mental health consumer run event. I have not been to this conference but I have been to several like it.  If you have been to any conference in the world you would know it’s a take what you like and leave the rest experience.  I think it’s healthy to critique peer run activities because if we don’t then  we identify ourselves as fragile. What we do with the critique is essential to our progress. Here is the link so you can look at the article yourself.

Here are some of my reactions

1.  I have no idea what causes or cures mental health issues.  I don’t think anyone except people who are somewhat full of themselves does.  Some say it’s trauma. Gee , I have no trauma history but I do have a mental illness. Some say it’s genes, I can see some links there. Some say it’s allergies – not me. Some say it’s a spiritual crisis – okay.   Some people say it’s the culture and the system and the people we label are actually not ill – that’s fine but please don’t expect that the system is going to change unless we are employed  and/or networking making alliances in the community at large. The more we alienate others by blaming, the less energy we have to move forward. Think Nelson Mandela. let’s work together people not cause a war about this.

2.   I think that the choices people make for conference presenters are often weak  and/or misguided   and the  conference committee may have to up their game.  They are under pressure to find something that makes people feel good.  People want an easy answer. I know I do. I have presented at several peer conferences. My workshops always involve humor so I usually get in!  It’s easy to get fooled by people who have published several books and have lots of misleading  evidence about how their diet is going to change your life.  If even two or three people believe it has and they testify it’s hard to make a contrary comment. I have walked out on several keynote speakers who were way out in left field. Are they really any worse than the pharmaceutical companies though? I may have to get myself on an upcoming conference committee. I’ve done this before for recovery events and it was  difficult but I lived through it!

3.  Do I care who gets government money?  I figure the people at The Alternatives conference get government money  because they may come up with a great idea just as easily as a drug company might. I’m sure that there are worse things in the world than  some people trying to come up with answers to their own issues even if they don’t think they have any!

Our mental health blog is back!

Due to some technical issues we have taken a break from posting as we did not want to nurse a negative tendency towards our computer involving a hammer. The December calendar has been posted somewhat belatedly.

Our craft fair and holiday party are over but if you are feeling isolated next week we will be seeing people for employment appointments on Monday and will be open from 9 am- 12 noon Christmas eve then closed Christmas and open again full time Thursday and Friday.

We will be hosting a Mental Health First Aid training on Thurs Jan 23rd and Friday Jan 24th from 10 am- 3:30 pm (with breaks). This is an 8 hour training which helps people understand how and why they might approach and offer support for someone showing signs of mental distress. This training is being offered through Anchorage Community Mental Health Services specifically for people in mental health recovery to help them feel comfortable using their recovery skills with others. Please call Joan at 762-8652 if you are interested. The training will be facilitated by Joan Cullinane and John Sperbeck.

Recovery month celebration project


To celebrate people in recovery we have started making flowers for everyone we know and don’t know is in recovery. We will be bringing them to some of the different agencies in town where people in recovery work and attend. We will hand them out to honor our friends.

The colors purple and yellow were chosen as the theme for National Recovery month so we, being frugal, bought purple and yellow paper napkins and transformed them, with a multitude of pipe cleaners into poppies, roses and imaginary flora. Please feel free to stop by The Wellness Innovations Center and pick one for yourself and one for a friend. We may show up some place near you in the near future.

Benefits Analysis in Anchorage Again!!!

If you or someone you know is on social security and is worried about losing income if they go back to work, there is now someone to talk to in Anchorage who can pin down the numbers so that educated decisions can be made.

At The UAA Center for Human Development, Larissa Cummings is now able to help with anxiety and financial confusion that comes with moving towards recovering independence. Larissa can be contacted at 264-6279 or at the main number for The Center for Human Development which is 272-8270. There will be releases of information and forms to be filled out and signed before information can be gathered. Check out this service so that you are informed about your options and responsibilities when going back to work. No one said recovery would be easy but there are people to help navigate some of the rough spots.