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Breakthrough Club to collaborate with SRS to impliment health and wellness for mental health agencies statewide

Breakthrough Club has agreed to a contract with Kansas Social and Rehabilitative Services to implement wellness trainings to every Community Mental Health Center and Consumer Run Organization in the state of Kansas.

Breakthrough Club, whose health and wellness initiative entitled the Health, Education and Leadership (H.E.A.L.) Project has served over 300 participants, has the opportunity to share what they have learned about health, wellness, and mental health.

The new initiative will be called H.E.A.L. Kansas.

“We’re excited to begin ‘H.E.A.L. Kansas’!” said Marty Quy, H.E.A.L. Project Coordinator at Breakthrough Club. “We look forward to the opportunity to share the information learned from the H.E.A.L. Project. Our goal is to help people across the state become healthier.”

The 2 day trainings will happen at Breakthrough Club starting in August and will continue through March of 2012. The trainings will consist of how to engage persons with mental illness in health and wellness activities including intentional exercise, healthy eating on a budget, food preparation, and understanding the obstacles with weight management and mental illness.

People with mental illness statistically die 25 years sooner than the rest of the population, and Quy states that this is just not acceptable.

“People with mental illness are at higher risk for diabetes, hypertension, obesity, respiratory ailments, bone density issues, and the list goes on and on,” says Quy. “Some of the psychotropic medications for their illnesses cause substantial enough weight gain that result in 10 pounds in the first 10 weeks for certain medications.”

“This is an epidemic,” added Quy.

Interim-Executive Director of Breakthrough Club, Doug Winkley, is encouraged to see that Kansas’ SRS is putting a great emphasis on preventative wellness care for people with mental illness. “This is a vital program that has the capacity to save lives and increase the quality of life for so many people, that we truly can’t afford NOT to do it. I am hopeful that similar efforts from the state administration will continue for this incredibly vulnerable population.”

The H.E.A.L. Project was inititated through a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant that was also made possible through funding partners United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, Wichita Community Foundation and Cargill Cares, and community partners Genesis Health Clubs, KU Med of Wichita, Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, and Wichita State University. The project includes a study of overall wellness of people with mental illness. Findings of the study will be released in 2012.

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