Tag Archives: wellness innovations center

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

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.

New “I can do it” recovery plan

I can do it plan

We are working hard to create a strong peer support network here at The Wellness Innovations Center. We have struggled in the past with WRAP. WRAP requires lots of reading and lots of writing. Not everyone wants to do this. Some people just aren’t reading and writing oriented so we have come up with a shorter form which can be answered orally and shared with others if people want. You will notice that we don’t mention some of the same things but we are going to try this for now. Any feedback is appreciated. This is not meant to replace WRAP but to be an alternative.
I have a pdf here but if you want a word copy just let me know and I can send it! Click the link at the top to check out the plan.

It’s not my job – working with people not at them as a peer provider


As a peer provider, work can get a bit confusing. Sometimes I have to go back to my office after a short interaction and ground myself in the guidelines for doing peer support. There are very few rules but there are some.

Rule #1: Do not have sex with the people you serve.
Not that I was thinking of doing this but this is a rule with no if ands or buts.

Rule #2 Ask people for help or support when confused. This is an important rule as I don’t know all the answers, I’m not supposed to and it can be dangerous to think that I do. Refer people to the proper sources – a doctor or nurse, their support group, a class, instead of thinking I have to provide all services.

Guidelines are not rules but excellent reminders of how I can continue to grow as a peer provider

Guideline #1: It’s not my job to fix people, just to offer them opportunities. People can cry and be angry, people can make the same mistakes over and over. I do, everyone does. If I stop them then they don’t get to learn.

Guideline #2 It’s not my job to punish people, or prove them wrong but to explore their choices and let them have natural consequences. I guess this is related to the first one. Life is a brave experiment.  I tend to be impatient and want to see results but I have to trust that people and things change on their own time. I’ve noticed that when I don’t jump on people they actually come to me and talk about what happened.

Guideline #3 If I am trying too hard to help someone then I am probably taking away some of the humanity and power of others to beef up my own no matter how good my intentions may be. When I’m being the best peer provider I can be, I notice and ask if I am pushing too hard then attempt to regain my balance and let go of my need to help people.

Guideline #4 When I’ve had it and notice cynicism, irritation or hopelessness creep into my work, then it’s time to take care of my own recovery and trust that this will set a good example. This is also a time to tell myself what I am doing right and what is going well so I don’t dwell on mistakes.

Guideline #5 Keep it simple. Take small steps, offer small steps. Remember that planning is good but too much planning can be a recipe for a taste of humility

Guideline #6 Practice gratitude. I’m lucky to have a job as a peer provider. There are many others who would like my job! Gratitude is a good fertilizer for hope.

It’s just like riding a bike. Sometimes I’ve got to adjust my speed, breathe, notice the scenery and enjoy the company of the person I’m with without crashing into them!


Success measured in daily joy/accomplishments


fun itself is free!
fun itself is free!

We had a yard sale today at The Wellness Innovations Center. It was about 76 degrees and sunny. I got a little too much sun. I like the color pink and now that’s me all over. 

  I wasn’t sure how many people would come. I knew we had enough donations for a great sale but I’m prone to worrry. Imagine my surprise when I walked in and there was already a member waiting to start baking cookies and two trays of treats already baked by staff from another program.  Members came in slowly but surely and set up tables and goods outside. One member decided to post the event on the public radio bulletin board.  Another member arrived by bike with a trailer of donations. Everything was priced to sell, bargains were made, IOU’s taken. People who had no money were patient enough to wait until 1:30 pm when everything became free.  We made $131.27 to help with our lunches for this month.

There’s nothing like having a goal and being a member of a happy team to help me with my state of mind. Everyone pitched in. Some collected money, some invited their friends. Finding a group of people to belong to and a purpose in life is not easy. We who are in recovery have to be patient in building our community.  It may take a village to raise a child but it take time to build a village!  Instead of looking for the instant satisfaction and big dollars that society encourages me towards I think I’ll stick with building  my community here one cookie, one blog post, one yard sale at a time.

By the way, we have about 200 ( out of 900) videos and some women’s size 1x and 2X clothes left over. We are going to keep them for one week here at The WIC and anyone can take whatever they want for free before we donate them somewhere else. Stop by or let us know if you want to use them for your yard sale!

Welcome to our new blog

Happy Spring(FINALLY!!!)
Happy Spring(FINALLY!!!)

We folks at The Wellness Innovations Center are trying a free blog this time instead of one we pay for. That way members can more easily update and access it.  Right now all we have is the calendar page up but we will add more soon, maybe even videos!  We have a cookout on Thursday May 23 starting at 11:30 am featuring The Paul & Lee band. You’re invited!